|Indiana Governor Mike Pence|
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Jobless benefits and funds for the WIC program in Indiana will be shrunk because of the automatic federal spending cuts, Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s budget director said Monday.
Federal sequestration spending cuts set in on March 2 when Congress and the White House failed to reach a deal to avoid them. Pence’s administration in Indianapolis has been working find ways to do without the federal funding for various programs and services.
"Thanks to Indiana's strong fiscal position and careful management, the state will be able to manage the budget cuts with minimal impact to Hoosiers," said Chris Atkins, Director of the Indiana Office of Management and Budget.
The sequestration cut will eliminate $4.1 million in food funds from the state's Women Infants and Children program (WIC). Due to Indiana's low transportation cost, administrative cuts of $1.6 million and a declining WIC caseload, Indiana will continue to provide full benefits to all recipients.
The Department of Workforce Development will see funding for job seeker services reduced by $1.1 million and GED remediation cut by $515,000. The DWD will mitigate the impact of these cuts completely with a discounted contract extension and a performance-based funding model.
The Department of Labor will lose some federal matching dollars for the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration and INSafe, but can minimize the cuts with other funding sources. In addition, DOL is implementing new technologies later this year to increase efficiency and minimize personnel redundancy. The department expects significant cost savings that will mitigate any effects of sequestration.
According to the governor’s office, the Indiana National Guard will put 1,000 Army and Air National Guard full-time military technicians will be furloughed to work one day less per week from the end of April through September. The Guard also will hold off on awarding $30 million in military construction projects at Terre Haute and South Bend until June. The Guard will implement changes to training methods and will stagger furloughs to reduce training costs and ensure that mission requirements are still met.
Some programs will suffer because they cannot be mitigated by the state, the governor’s office said. The U.S. Department of Labor is reducing extended unemployment compensation for 33,000 Hoosiers by 10.7 percent beginning March 31.
Many state agencies continue to wait for word from the federal government on how their funding cuts will be administered. Those include the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Family and Social Services Administration, and State Department of Health.
Others are likely to see little to no effect of sequestration, including the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Department of Environmental Management, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Revenue, Department of Transportation, and Department of Veterans Affairs.