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Sequester: Florida Could See Job Losses, Spending Freezes

As the deadline looms for $85 billion in federal spending cuts to kick in, take a look at what impacts might be felt in New Tampa and Florida as a whole.

While politicians in Washington, D.C., continue a blame game over who is responsible for the $85 billion in federal spending cuts that automatically kick in this Friday, March 1, if action isn’t taken, state and local politicians are sounding off about the cuts and what they could mean to New Tampa and Florida as a whole.

State Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, says the cuts on the federal level could cause Florida to have to freeze spending in some areas.

If the sequester kicks in with across-the-board federal spending cuts, “Florida must immediately look at all our core services and find a way to freeze all other spending until rational minds prevail,” Legg said.

Even so, Legg said he hopes a last-minute fix will be found.

“It is my hope that Congress and the President will realize balancing our national budget is not just our fiscal responsibly but it is our moral responsibility,” Legg said in a statement to Patch. “We cannot keep spending and passing debt to our children and grandchildren.”

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Gov. Rick Scott said he fears the sequester will compromise Florida’s safety while causing many Floridians to lose their jobs.

“The impacts on Florida’s military installations and defense industries will be severe under the meat hammer of sequestration,” Scott said in a statement. “Our immediate concerns include dramatic reductions to our National Guard, which threatens our ability to respond to wildfires this spring and hurricanes this summer.”

Scott went on to say the job losses could be staggering – especially in regard to military-related jobs in the state.

“Estimated defense industry impacts from industry and academic sources include jobs losses from 40,000 to 80,000, and defense spending reductions approaching $1 billion across Florida,” he said. “The Florida National Guard estimates an annual impact of $27.2 million, which includes 986 Florida National Guard employees furloughed for 20% of the remaining year ($7.3 million in lost wages).”

Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson agrees the cuts will have negative impacts on Florida, its residents and its economy.

“Sequestration – or, across-the-board budget cuts – were never intended to happen,” Nelson said. “And the main reason we don’t have a solution yet is because some in Washington are doing a Kabuki dance.  I think the Senate should pass the $110 billion plan we put on the table last week to avert these impending mandatory budget cuts.  Then we can use that to work out a compromise with the House.”

Tampa Bay area residents are also sounding off about the possible spending cuts.

New Tampa Patch reader ptb had this to say:

Get on with , make the cuts and stop all the free lunches in the public school system. momma don't want to work then the baby don't eat.Stop wasting money on bombs and missles . You might as well take a fist full of dollars to your backyard and burn them.Same thing as blowing up a bomb. The us is the most wastefull govt. in history.

Want to learn more about the sequester? Be sure to read What is the Sequester Anyway? Interested in learning more about what funding cuts are likely in Florida? Check out this story: Funding Cuts are Coming Florida’s Way.

What are your thoughts about the sequester, New Tampa? We want to hear your opinions! Just comment below.

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