sequestration

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Missouri Military leaders gathered in Columbia today to discuss the current and future landscape of the armed forces in the state, as the federal government  plans to make cuts to defense spending. One of the main messages from panelists: that different stakeholders in that state must work together toward creating a “military friendly” environment in the state.

“It’s gonna have to be a team effort going forward. It can’t just be a Fort Leonard Word effort, it can’t just be a Whiteman effort, it can’t just be a Rosecran effort, it can’t just be a Jefferson Barracks effort. It has to be a  statewide effort… It’s bigger than any just one location anymore,” said Mike Dunbar with the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement commission. Dunbar was one of the panelists at the forum.

U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler hosted the event, which brought together representatives from the military and the communities in Missouri that surround the military bases in the state, to discuss the impact of a possible Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC).

usmilitary.about.com

The U.S. Army announced Tuesday it will eliminate 885 positions at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri as part of its plan to restructure its bases in the U.S.

The Army says it was necessary to reduce its numbers by 80,000 active duty members over the next four years because of sequestration cuts. The plan is to bring its number of active duty personnel down to 490,000 by 2017.

hospital room
Fotos GOVBA / flicker

  Compared to their urban counterparts, rural hospitals serve a population that tends to be older, sicker, uninsured and have less income. Rural hospitals provide a lot of uncompensated care and run on more narrow profit margins.

To stay open, these hospitals depend on special federal designations that give them a higher rate of reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid. For example, when a hospital designated as a critical access hospital, Medicare reimbursements can make up to a third of its entire revenue

Columbia Regional Airport logo
File Photo / KBIA

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) yesterday notified airport manager Don Elliott that the Air Traffic Control Tower at Columbia Regional Airport would be unfunded as of May 5.

Columbia Regional Airport logo
File Photo / KBIA

A U.S. Congress member was not an airplane passenger at the Columbia Regional Airport on Tuesday. Instead, she visited to draw attention to an important safety issue.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri’s Fourth District said she does not agree with the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to close the air traffic control tower at the airport.

Regional news from the KBIA Newsroom, including:

  • Federal sequestration cuts will close Columbia's airport control tower
  • MoDOT issues travel advisory ahead of winter storm
  • 'Earth Hour' organizers say it's more than electricity
Columbia Regional Airport logo
File Photo / KBIA

On Friday, the Columbia Regional Airport received notice that its control tower was among 149 around the country[PDF] that would close as a result of federal sequestration cuts. The closure is expected to take place at some point between April 7 and May 7.

children in head start classroom
Photo provided by Missouri Association for Community Action

Administrators at local and regional agencies that aid low-income Missourians say they are keeping an eye on the impact of the sequester, or across-the-board federal spending cuts, and they fear the cuts could negatively impact their agencies. 

While many questions about the impact of sequestration rollout remain, Missouri's Community Action Agencies are expecting an all-around 5 percent budget cut due to the federal sequestration.  This could mean serious cutbacks to several services provided by the agency.

Claire McCaskill
Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri said she's planning to introduce a bill that would cut pay for members of Congress if federal employees are furloughed because of the so-called “sequestration,” or across-the-board spending cuts.

The bill calls for a reduction in Congressional salaries once federal furloughs begin. As the sequestration goes into effect, many federal workers are expected to be subject to furloughs because Congress and the White House did not reach an agreement on a deficit reduction plan.

Columbia Regional Airport logo
File Photo / KBIA

The F-A-A says that if budget talks in Washington fail, 168 air traffic control towers across the country could be forced to close.

Money
Andrew Magill

Coming up we’ll tackle sequestration which is set to occur March 1. But first, when a large group of farmers in the Southeast banded together to sue a powerful dairy cooperative a few years ago, many hoped that the case would bring big changes to the industry. But as Peggy Lowe of Harvest Public Media reports, the recent settlement of the case involving Kansas City-based Dairy Farmers of America has resulted in some money for small farmers in the short term but little long-term reform.

401kcalculator.org

Barring a congressional miracle,  Medicare payments to health care providers throughout the country will see a 2 percent reduction come Friday. That amount might not sound like much, but rural hospitals and their surrounding communities are the ones that would feel most of the pinch.

Sequestration, or the automatic across-the-board funding cuts set to kick in nationwide at the beginning of 2013, will tally nearly $110 billion dollars in cuts over the next nine years. The cuts are meant to alleviate the trillion dollar deficit. Congressional Republicans and Democrats are currently facing a stalemate on a solution to the severe fiscal cuts sequestration calls for while still fixing the deficit. KBIA’s Kristofor Husted reports that millions of dollars are at stake for the University of Missouri System.