INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Many Indiana state agencies remain in the dark about what will happen to
their funding if $85 billion in automatic budget cuts take effect Friday.
Department of Workforce Development yesterday reversed its decision to cut
off federally extended unemployment benefits after hearing from the federal
government, but other state agencies are still waiting for guidance. Some
say they’re still unsure of how soon and how much funding would be reduced
and how they would handle the cuts.
Earlier this week,
the state Workforce Development department announced a temporary suspension
of extended unemployment benefits that go to those out of work for more than
Joe Frank, a
spokesman for the department, said the agency had received no directions
from the government and wanted to avoid inadvertently paying too much and
having to collect the money back from beneficiaries later.
yesterday when the U.S. Department of Labor gave the state department a
guarantee that the cuts would not go into effect immediately.
will speak to the Labor Department on Friday about how to move forward.
“That’s the first
guidance they’ve given us whatsoever, which is kind of troubling,” Frank
said. “This (sequester) has been around for over a year now, and it took
until yesterday to get further guidance from them.”
agencies are still in the dark. The White House released a document Sunday
detailing how the cuts, known as the “sequester,” would affect each state,
but some agencies still aren’t sure how the cuts would be implemented
executive director of the Covered Bridge Special Education District in Terre
Haute, said he’s waiting for direction from the state and federal
government. The cooperative sends specialized staff to local schools.
The White House
report says Indiana will lose $12.4 million in funding for about 150
teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities. Some of
Blake’s employees are paid for by federal grants, he said.
“It’s confusing. We
don’t know what to look for,” he said. “Trying to keep everybody calm is
another part because they keep seeing it on TV. It’s hard to do any
long-range planning when you don’t know what kind of funding you’re going to
education programs, the military, domestic violence shelters and meal
programs for the elderly also would see reduced funding if the cuts are
enacted. Some leaders of those programs also say they’re not certain how
much money they’ll lose and how that will affect their operations.