With 536 US electeds in terminal gridlock, it is very possible that the sequestration provision in the Budget Control Act of 2011 could trigger on March 1, forcing many of Maryland’s most vulnerable residents to go without meals, vaccines, and childcare, according to a state-by-state impact report released by the White House yesterday.
Kent County won’t be immune to absorbing its share of the $85 billion in cuts that will play out nationwide over the next seven months, but the trickle down affect to Maryland counties has yet to be quantified, said Raquel Guillory, Communications Directory for Gov. Martin O’Malley.
The state’s rainy day fund was recently increased by over $300 million to $921 million–in the event the impasse triggers the Doomsday scenario. The increased funds would cover an estimated decline in state revenues from the 12,600 jobs that would be lost in Maryland.
A recent George Mason University study said as many as 100,000 jobs could be lost in Maryland under sequestration–triggering another recession.
The $300 million hike in the rainy day fund would be committed to cover $95 million in revenue losses in 2013 and $235 million estimated in 2014. Guillory said a compromise deal assumed by the Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates would have reduced the revenue losses to $79 million in 2013 and $116 million in 2014.
“We would still prefer that there are some urgent decisions made to not impact the amount of programs and services that could be cut,” Guillory told the Spy by phone on Monday. “But this is why we boosted the rainy day fund even more than previous years–just in case.”
The least able to bear the price of gridlock will be the elderly and children with disabilities.
Children with disabilities in the state will lose $10 million for 120 teachers and support staff. About 800 children will become ineligible to participate in Head Start programs.
About 2,000 children in Maryland won’t receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B.
Programs that provide hot meals to the elderly and disabled will also be cut by nearly $900,000.
Below is what the White House released as Maryland’s brunt of the cuts.