Sequester could have large impact on Capital Region - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Sequester could have large impact on Capital Region

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LATHAM, N.Y. -- The impasse in Washington could have some very big impacts for New York.

According to the White House, if a deal isn't reached, the state could lose $275 million. The cuts would be widespread, everything from education to job training, law enforcement -- even assistance for youth and senior services.

Officials say as many as 12,000 civilian employees with the Department of Defense would be furloughed, and the New York National Guard says about 500 men and women in the Capital Region would be part of that.

Colonel Richard Goldenberg of the NY National Guard explains how it will breakdown.

"Those folks will see a 20 percent reduction in their salary in the form of a furlough, which will be as planned now one day a week starting to April through the end of this fiscal year," said Goldenberg.

"Things like maintenance, administration, logistics, training prep and planning. All these roles are done here on a day to day basis," said Goldenberg.

Col. Goldenberg showed NEWS10 around the New York Air National Guard joint force headquarters in Latham, explaining that many of the men and women spotted in uniform were actually civilian employees. All of them are facing the possibility of a 20 percent pay cut in the form of one furlough day a week.

"That's real dollars coming out of real family's pockets right here in Albany," said Goldenberg.

Goldenberg himself is one of those 500 civilian workers facing a possible furlough.

Married, with three children of his own, Goldenberg tells NEWS10 the possible cut will hurt. Not just him and his family, but the work he does.

"We're going to have to be creative and be thoughtful in applying the resources we do have to get what we can get done, done in the time allotted," said Goldenberg.

Goldenberg acknowledges he doesn't know how all the cuts will work, but he's now one of many with their fingers crossed and a message for our elected officials in Washington.

"Those budget cuts are probably not the smartest way to do this. There's a better way if they can find compromise," said Goldenberg.

And it's not only civilian military employees that will be affected.

If you have a question about the senior services of Albany, Lena Avery has the answer. While the 83-year old is a part-time receptionist with them now, she's also been a client. She tells NEWS10 she received food through their meals on wheels program for about six months and credits it with helping her get back on her feet.

"It gave me confidence I didn't have to worry about where my next meal was coming from," said Avery.

More than food, Avery says the various programs the senior services of Albany provide create a sense of community.

The acting executive director doctor Raymond smith tells NEWS10 there's a purpose.

"We're providing independent living through caregiver support and meals for the frailest of the elderly population," said Smith.

Smith says they've taken a hit over the last few years, making due with less. Now they face another cut if leaders in Washington don't reach a budget deal and the sequester takes effect -- they could lose as much as 10 percent of their funding.

Iya People, who delivers some of the upwards of 1000 meals they serve, tells NEWS10 she worries about that clients will do.

As the president and congress continue to negotiate, Avery hopes they remember the seniors that would be impacted.

"Keep out programs going so we can take care of ourselves and have dignity," said Avery.

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