Federal Budget Cuts Might Affect Nebraska

By: Rachael Witter

If an agreement can't be reached by tomorrow, federal agencies would see automatic budget cuts. The Lincoln Airport and the Headstart program are just two agencies in the city that could feel the effects.
The deadline is looming. Some politicians say the so–called “sequester” needs to be replaced with responsible budget cuts. Senator Deb Fischer is one of them.

“Budget cuts need to happen. They will happen but I believe that we have to do so in a responsible manner and in order to do that we have to set responsible priorities.” said Fischer.

The automatic budget cuts that would go into effect Friday would mean possible layoffs for federal agencies as soon as early April. Cuts would mean some airport control towers across the country could be shut down. While the Lincoln Airport is not one of them, it could still see some cuts.
“I don't really think at this point that they'll be any job layoffs related to the federal government here at the Lincoln airport and as far as money or projects it may slow down planning or getting projects approved to go but in the long run those projects will happen anyway.” said John Wood, Executive Director of the Lincoln Airport Authority.

Nearly 3 million dollars in funding to Nebraska schools is on the line if an agreement isn't reached. Programs like Headstart might see some changes.
“It's business as usual til we hear differently because there's a number of ways this could come down. This could be a reduction in enrollment slots. It could be Headstart finds a way to absorb these cuts at the federal level. That's unlikely but what were prepared for as a grant funded entity is making tough decisions if we need to.” said Chief Operating Officer of Headstart Aaron Bowen.