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Cuts coming to the High Desert? Who's affected

By John Hendricks
Published On: Mar 01 2013 07:53:03 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 08:50:46 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's John Hendricks reports on how the High Desert may be affected by the sequester.

BEND, Ore. -

The political fight over mandatory budget cuts continues after the deadline passes in Washington.

"It's really just a cut in their percentage increase and because their budget naturally goes up," said attorney Neil Bryant, a former state senator and NewsChannel 21 political analyst. "So there is a misunderstanding about that."

Bryant said Friday he thinks the sequester won't be the straw that breaks the economic camel's back.

"This is the eighth crisis we've had in the last few years, and the public is kind of expecting it," Bryant said.

Since the cuts have gone into place, what does it mean for you on the High Desert?

Bend-La Pine school officials say says they will see cuts to programs for the poor, and disabled. They've been told by the Oregon Department of Education cuts could be anywhere from 5 to 10 percent.

Dana Arntson, the director of federal programs for the district, says they receive about $4 million in funding for programs for the poor, and $3.2 million for special education.

Bend officials said they don't believe the cuts will affect them. Justin Finestone, the city's communications director, says it may, however, affect the grant process for things like the Bend Airport, and fire and police services.

At Roberts Field in Redmond, it's unclear what will happen. The cuts could mean changes for TSA screeners and air traffic controllers.

"We just want to know if this is going to be affecting our TSA screening staff here," Airport Manager Kim Dickie said Friday. "It's very possible, but we haven't heard too much about that."

Dickie says larger airports may feel the effects more than an in Redmond, so she says air travelers need to be ready. 

"Make sure that if you are making travel plans, just make sure you're giving yourself extra time if you can," Dickie said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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