Well, we survived it but the effects of the federal sequestration may not be fully felt until next week. Like evil magic; when the clock ticked midnight, $85 billion from the federal budget vanished into thin air.
Oh to have been a fly on the wall when Governor Otter visited the White House for a closed door meeting with the President this week.
“When I went to the White House on Monday, at my table was a folder that said Idaho on the front of it. And as I opened it up, there was a stack of papers and on the first sheet of paper told me the sequestration of the $85 billion was going to cost me $20 million.”
That $20 million impact to state government will be spread out over seven months, which represents the remainder of the federal fiscal year. The Governor expressed his frustration over federal spending which he believes is unsustainable and dangerous and warned that more of these kind of mid-year budget cuts are likely.
“We have to do something like this, because the way you guys are spending money back here is crazy. It is like I get a credit card and I go down and I go out and charge a hundred thousand dollars worth of stuff on it and I hand it to my grandson (J.C.) and I say here ‘J.C., pay this off.’ That is exactly what we are doing.”
Last year the Governor ordered his agency directors to be ready for this potential reduction by preparing budgets with cuts of up to 20 percent. The Governor says while it is much less than we prepared for, the $20 million impact could hurt the Idaho National Guard the most, which may be forced to furlough employees.