Sequestration could cut social services programs in PA

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Feb 26, 2013 4:01 AM
money budget

(Philadelphia) -- Advocacy groups are describing $85 billion in federal budget cuts scheduled to begin next week as potentially having dire consequences for social service programs in Pennsylvania.

The women and children's advocacy group PathWays PA says sequestration will slash $16 million dollars for job training statewide, meaning an estimated 45,000 fewer people will have access to the education efforts.

Senior Director of Policy Marianne Bellesorte says employers often rely on the programs to train workers to close the so-called "skills gap."

"If we're looking to take a balanced approach, we really need to go back and take a look at the programs that are helping families move into jobs," Bellesorte says. "I would certainly say that workforce programs are among them. Education programs like these are really what will help determine Pennsylvania's future."

The sequester could also cut nutrition and housing assistance programs for low-income families.

The Maternity Care Coalition estimates some 4,500 fewer families in the commonwealth will receive childcare subsidies if the sequester hits.

The group Public Citizens for Children and Youth says 3,300 Pennsylvania children could lose the ability to participate in the head start program under the cuts.

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