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Federal cuts to hit Indiana jobless, National Guard

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Indiana agencies are cutting jobless benefits, furloughing National Guard members and losing food funds for the Women Infants and Children program because of the automatic federal budget cuts, officials said Monday.

The state will cut jobless benefits by 10.7 percent for 33,000 people starting March 31, Gov. Mike Pence's office said in a news release.

The automatic spending cuts took effect Friday, slashing $85 billion from the nation's budget. U.S. lawmakers say they want to undo the cuts so that federal programs can be spared but are divided over whether higher taxes should be used to pay for them.

Pence's office said that because of the cuts, the Indiana National Guard will put 1,000 full-time Army and Air National Guard military technicians on unpaid furlough one day a week from the end of April through September. The guard also will hold off on awarding $30 million in military construction projects at Terre Haute and South Bend for fiscal year 2013.

The WIC program will be cut by $4.1 million, but the state plans to continue full benefits because of its low transportation cost, administrative cuts of $1.6 million and a declining caseload, Pence's office said.

The Indiana Department of Labor will lose matching dollars for the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the Department of Workforce Development will lose $1.1 million for job seeker services and $515,000 for other programs, it said.

Some state agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Family and Social Services Administration, and the State Department of Health, have not received guidance from the federal government about how cuts affecting them will be administered.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Environmental Management, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Revenue, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Veterans Affairs will see little if any impact, it said.

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  • Indiana National Guard Cuts
    I believe I once read where Indiana has the 5th largest Guard in the U.S. If true, why a state our size should have such a large Guard? Pruning back would seem to be a good idea regardless of the potential budget cuts.
  • Somewhat misleading
    The $85 billion does not all get "slashed" at the same time - many won't occur until next year or thereafter. Unfortunately, since our government has habitually been spending more than they take in, someone has to pay the piper. I am with more taxes and higher healtcare costs to bolster up the "needy". The main problem with this country is, that as a whole (whether it be government, individuals or corporations) we just cannot spend what we don't have and think the party will last forever. How about or Commander in Chief parking that big jet that flies 2 or 3 places every day for a while???

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