Sequestration happens, effects to be felt in Texas
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AUSTIN — Friday, March 1, was the deadline for Congress and the White House to agree on how much to tax and how much to spend to avoid “sequestration” — automatic across-the-board cuts to federal programs in the current federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, and beyond. No agreement came. Now, budget reductions totaling $85 billion will come, resulting in fewer federal dollars meted out to the 50 states for education, social programs, environmental funds, civilian jobs linked to defense functions, and more. According to Texas’ 10-member Legislative Budget Board, however, key safety-net programs are exempted from federal cuts, such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, National School Lunch Program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Also, certain transportation programs are exempted, including those administered by the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration. The Airport Improvement Program is also exempted, the LBB said.
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