Perry: Texas communities vulnerable to sequester cuts - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Perry: Texas communities vulnerable to sequester cuts

Representative Charles Perry Representative Charles Perry

The sequester kicked in Friday, and while it will take some time for the effects to be seen on the South Plains, Representative Charles Perry said it doesn't look good for certain Texas industries.  

"We are a big military state," he said. "Those communities that are directly dependent on military money, there's about 1.1 billion military dollars of direct funding that comes to the state from the federal government and about half of that is going to hit those military communities."

He said towns such as Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and other places that rely purely on the military to drive their economy will see the most immediate impact. A report from the Associated Press says the Air Force could lose $92 million, with cuts hitting facilities at Lackland, Randolph and Sheppard Air Force bases, an estimated $1.725 billion dollars total by Sept. 30.

Along with the military impact, Representative Perry says the education system in Texas will feel the cuts to certain services they provide.

"Some of the monies are for special needs and some of our English as a second language migrants - some of those programs are tied to those federal dollars," he said.

Representative Perry said that unemployment services in the state will also be affected but what he is most concerned about is a decline in consumer confidence.

"Texas gets most of its revenue from sales tax and if you begin that process of creating such a negative environment, people start feeling like they can't spend their dollars and need to start pulling them back in, saving them and getting ready for a storm that may or may not be coming. Then in Texas we will see a drop in sales tax receipts," said Perry.

If that happens the state may be forced to alter their budget for this session, meaning other state programs and projects will be cut. Representative Perry said he couldn't say exactly what would be affected other than Medicaid and education would be left alone

He said that how much we feel the pain from this sequester depends solely on folks in Washington.

"Lubbock is a great place to be. Restaurants are full; consumer confidence is pretty high we've got a great future ahead if we just don't let those guys mess it up," Perry said.

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