How Automatic Budget Cuts Could Affect Montana

By Beacon Staff

HELENA — The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers are based only on the $85 billion in cuts for this fiscal year, from March-September, that are set to take effect Friday.

As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House did not have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

Some examples of how automatic budget cuts could affect Montana:


— About $1.5 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 20 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 2,000 fewer students would be served and about 20 fewer schools would receive funding.

— About $1.9 million for about 20 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

— About 80 fewer low income students would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

— Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for about 200 children.


— About $1.2 million to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.

— About $1.2 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.


— About 1,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $6.3 million in total.

— About $1.6 million would be cut to operate Army bases, and about $2 million from Air Force operations.

Law Enforcement

— About $66,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.


— About $229,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning about 8,570 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.

— Child care for as many as 100 disadvantaged and vulnerable children of working parents.


— About $29,000 for vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B, affecting about 420 children.

— About $95,000 to help the state respond to public health threats such as infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events.

— About $330,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 300 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs.

— About $50,000 for the Montana State Department of Health & Environmental Services, resulting in about 1,300 fewer HIV tests.

— About $20,000 for services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 100 fewer victims being served.

— About $226,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.

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