Congress Acts to Help Frequent Fliers, Leaves States in Lurch

Late this week, the U.S. Senate approved legislation by unanimous consent that would give the Federal Aviation Administration the ability to end furloughs of air traffic controllers, hoping to end a week of delays at airports across the nation that resulted from the automatic budget cuts in sequestration. These kinds of impacts were the intentional purpose of the blunt and painful automatic cuts of sequestration, which were originally intended to be so frightening that the possibility of their enactment would force an alternative federal budget compromise. Yet while business travellers might be breathing a sigh of relief as they fly home this weekend, the intentionally painful cuts to other critical programs are still being felt by states, kids, students, seniors, and other victims of sequestration -- and the pain they are feeling may soon get worse:

More on the "preposterous legislative sideshow" surrounding sequestration. [Center for American Progress]

Cancer patients, hungry seniors, kids enrolled in Head Start, and other victims of sequestration are not seeing their cuts restored. [Huffington Post]

A critical network of gauges that helps forecasters predict floods could also be partially shut down in the coming months due to sequestration cuts. [Stateline]

That gauge program is paid for by a combination of federal, state, and local governments, and any shutdown would likely affect states routinely threatened with spring flooding. [AP]

Ten school districts in New Mexico, Wisconsin, New York, Texas, and California could also take a huge hit from sequestration cuts. [Reuters]

Eleven states are considering ending their long-term unemployment programs entirely due to sequestration. [ThinkProgress]

Twelve other programs Congress is refusing to save from sequestration budget cuts while it helps business travelers include low-income housing, student aid, child care, heating assistance, and disaster relief. [ThinkProgress]


(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Read the full Dispatch from April 27, 2013 here or sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)