Analysts say Arkansas would lose millions of dollars in funding for crucial education, military readiness, and job training programs, if Congress and the president don’t reach a deal to avoid the sequester.
Though the automatic spending cuts go into effect March 1, the government won’t run out of money until March 27 and that’s only if a new funding measure is not passed. Additionally, the full impact of sequestration won’t be felt by Arkansans until April 4 when furloughs begin.
John Shelnutt with state’s Department of Finance and Administration says the automatic cuts could undermine the fragile economy.
“The forecast we look at show weakness in both the first and second quarter of this year with more significant acceleration in the second-half and on into 2014, but all that depends on what kind of compromise comes out of Washington and the nature of those spending cuts,” said Shelnutt.
Shelnutt admits the sequester, coupled with high energy prices and the payroll tax reset that started at the beginning of the year, are all hitting consumers right now and could hurt economic growth.