As the clock stuck midnight, the sequester was set to take place on Friday. This means there would be $85 billion in automatic budget cuts. This money will be cut from vital services for children, senior citizens, people with illnesses and the military.
National parks will also be affected by the sequester. Many of the 398 national parks across the country would be partially or fully closed, with shortened operating hours, closed facilities, reduced maintenance and cuts to visitor services, according to whitehouse.gov.
According to Mark Woods, superintendent of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the park has taken precautions in preparation for the possible sequester. Woods said there is a hiring freeze at the park currently.
Woods said the park has not automatically filled current vacant position in an attempt to save money. Normally, the park would be hiring seasonal work for the spring and summer months, which is normally a busy time for the park. Because of the sequester, the park has not hired there seasonal help.
Woods said they have cut back on there travel as well. The park usually provides programs to multiple groups in the Tri-State area. These programs are now being looked at individually in an attempt to limit expenditures.
Though hard times may soon find there way to the park, Woods said he still remains hopeful. The main focus of the park is to provide the highest level of service for its visitors.
“It will be more challenging,” said Woods times following Friday’s sequester.
Teachers and schools can also be affected by the sequester. According to a blog released on the White House website, Kentucky will lose approximately $11.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 21,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 40 fewer schools would receive funding.
The blog states approximately 11,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $54.4 million in total in Kentucky.
The blog also states up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care. In Kentucky around 1,350 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $92,000, according to the White House blog.
Anthony Cloud can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.