Sequester

Poverty
5:41 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Homeless Numbers Drop In Idaho, So Does Money To Help Them

Credit Mistermuckle / Flickr Creative Commons

You might look at Thursday's announcement from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as good news and bad news for Idaho. First the good news. Between 2010 and 2013 Idaho saw a 24 percent drop in homelessness. That’s more than 560 fewer people living on Idaho’s streets. Nationally, homelessness decreased by 6 percent.

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Budget Cuts
5:10 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

400 Civilians Furloughed At Mountain Home Air Force Base

Credit Official U.S. Air Force

Furloughs have begun at Mountain Home Air Force base. Friday is the first day many civilian workers had to stay home after across-the-board budget cuts – known as the sequester – take effect.

Chief Master Sergeant Alex del Valle says the furloughs are already changing base operations. He says the civilian airmen work alongside the military airmen, and their support is essential.

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Crime & Courts
11:02 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Lawyers Want Off Terrorism Case In Idaho Due To Budget Cuts

A sketch of Kurbanov at a recent hearing in federal court.
Credit Ward Hooper / Idaho Statesman

Lawyers for an Uzbek national facing federal terrorism-related charges in Idaho and Utah want a judge to let them withdraw from the case, saying federal budget cuts have left their office with too few resources.  

Fazliddin Kurbanov, 30, of Boise, has pleaded not guilty to charges involving teaching people to build bombs.

Court-appointed attorneys Richard Rubin and Thomas Monaghan, of Federal Defenders Services of Idaho, are seeking appointment of new counsel.

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Sequester
6:12 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Control Towers At Smaller NW Airports Likely To Get Reprieve

The White House says President Obama will sign a fast-tracked Congressional bill to end the furloughs of air traffic controllers. Operators of smaller Northwest airports hope the measure also stops the planned closure of their control towers.

As of now, more than a dozen of the less busy airport control towers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho remain on a list to be deactivated in early June. They're potential casualties of across-the-board federal budget cuts at the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Sequester
2:18 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Alaska Air Group CEO Calls FAA Furloughs "Unfathomable"

Credit pdx.rollingthunder / Flickr

The head of Alaska Airlines has choice words for the air traffic controller furloughs that started Sunday. Alaska Air Group C-E-O Brad Tilden today called the travel impact of automatic federal budget cuts "unfathomable."

Sister carriers Alaska and Horizon Air say delays and cancelations have been most noticeable on flights to Los Angeles this week.

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Sequester
3:12 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Idaho Senator Says Internet Tax Bill Could Provide State Tax Relief

Credit Courtesy of Sen. Mike Crapo's office

Tax-free shopping on the Internet could come to an end under a bill making its way through the U-S Senate.

The bill would allow states to require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes for purchases made over the Internet. The sales taxes would be sent to the states where a shopper lives.

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Sequester
4:15 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Sequester Grounds One Mountain Home AFB Fighter Squadron

Credit Official U.S. Air Force

More than 70 airmen and 30 planes will remain on the ground through the fall at Mountain Home Air Force Base.  That's because of federal budget cuts, known as the sequester.  

Colonel Chris Short commands the 366th Fighter Wing.  His wing includes the 391st Squadron, known as the Bold Tigers.  They’re a flying combat unit.  “Typically they fly every day during a work week, we give them a certain number of hours during a month, to maintain their combat readiness, and what we’ve done is by standing them down, they will not fly at all.” 

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Sequester
2:46 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Sequester Hits Mountain Home Air Force Base

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 391st Fighter Squadron.
Credit Official U.S. Air Force

The federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, have hit Mountain Home Air Force Base.  Officials announced today that one of their fighter squadrons will curtail flying operations.

The 391st Squadron, known as the Bold Tigers, stopped flying their planes yesterday.  The stand down will remain in effect through the end of the fiscal year in September. 

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Budget Cuts
1:49 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Sequester Still Threatens Idaho Airport Towers

Credit Robin Wagner / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho’s regional airport towers have been given a short reprieve from federal budget cuts known as the sequester. That includes Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Lewiston and Hailey. The towers are now set to close on June 15th.

Closing the towers means planes could still fly, but pilots would take on the responsibilities the towers now hold.

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Airports
7:55 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Some Northwest Cities Explore How To Keep Airport Control Towers Open

Some Northwest cities and counties are exploring whether to use local or private money to keep their airport control towers open. By mid-June, the federal government plans to close the control towers at 13 small to medium sized airports across the region.

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Budget Cuts
5:30 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Services For American Indian Tribes In Idaho Hit By Federal Budget Cuts

Credit Courtesy of the Idaho Statesman

It’s been more than a month since the federal budget cuts took effect. The across-the-board spending cuts impact federal agencies including the Pentagon and the FAA. American Indian tribes in Idaho are now beginning to see the impact of those cuts.

Amber Ebarb is a policy analyst at the National Congress of American Indians. She says for many tribes, the sequester could not have come at a worse time. She says there are nearly 18,000 American Indians eligible for services in Idaho.

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Sequester
11:43 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Federal Government Wants Money Back From Idaho

Garden Valley is one of three school districts in Boise County. Boise County got more that $1 million from the Secure Rural Schools act last year. The biggest recipient was Idaho County at more than $8 million.
Credit Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Government agencies in Idaho know they’ll be getting less money from the federal government for the foreseeable future. That’s because of spending cuts known as the sequester. Seth Grigg with the Idaho Association of Counties says every county and school district in the state has been preparing for a 5 percent reduction in future payments from the federal government.

“Nobody was prepared to have monies that they’d already collected… for them to need to return those dollars,” Grigg says.

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Budget Cuts
4:22 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Hailey, Pocatello Airports Set To Close Towers In Early May

Credit Andrew W. Sieber / Flickr Creative Commons

Airports in Hailey and Pocatello will close their air traffic control towers on May 5. The Lewiston-Nez Perce County and Idaho Falls Regional Airports are also set to close sometime after April 7.

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Military
1:18 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Tuition Assistance For Troops Suspended

Command Sergeant Major John Troxell
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The Defense Department has suspended a workplace benefit cherished by many soldiers, airmen and Coast Guardsmen. The agency has put tuition assistance on indefinite hold because of the automatic federal budget cuts known as the "sequester."

The paychecks of active duty military are exempt from the across-the-board federal budget cuts. But some of their fringe benefits are not, as we're now finding out.

At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, I Corps Command Sergeant Major John Troxell says the suspension of tuition assistance stings. "This was a benefit, not an entitlement."

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Budget Cuts
4:18 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Regional Airlines Intend To Keep Flying If Control Towers Close

Olympia Airport's contract control tower is one of those slated to close next month.
Credit Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The control towers at 14 small to medium sized airports around the Northwest will close on April first in response to automatic federal budget cuts. That will mean four airports in Idaho.  That's according to an airport industry association. But regional airlines intend to keep flying to those cities they now serve.

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Sequester
1:43 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Sequester Imminent, Otter Says Federal Spending Is Dangerous

Credit State of Idaho

The White House says automatic spending reductions will be put off until late this evening.  President Obama must issue the order for $85 billion in cuts sometime today.  And White House press secretary Jay Carney says that means midnight, because Obama remains "ever hopeful." 

Idaho Governor Butch Otter weighed in on the cuts known as the sequester yesterday.  He was on the east coast, speaking to a meeting of Farmers Insurance officials.

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Sequester
2:06 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

How Possible Budget Cuts Could Change Your Vacation Plans

Automatic budget cuts could affect your vacation plans. That’s because the U.S. Department of Interior says those cuts will reduce what national parks can spend if Congress doesn’t come to an agreement by Friday.

All national parks and monuments, including those in the Pacific Northwest, will have to cut 5 percent of their budgets. That might not sound like a lot, but the vast majority of their budgets cover things like salaries and utilities.

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Budget Cuts
6:25 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequester Effects At Boise’s Airport Unclear

Credit Robin Wagner / Flickr Creative Commons

Friday's looming sequestration deadline has left federal agencies struggling to come up with contingency plans.  According to the White House, the Federal Aviation Administration's [FAA] budget would be cut by $600 million. 

At the air traffic control tower at Boise’s airport, manager Gordon Stewart stays away from the political debate. He’s faced potential cuts before, but Stewart says two days away from the deadline -- these cuts seem very possible.

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Budget Cuts
9:32 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Idaho Schools Stand To Lose Millions If Federal Budget Cuts Happen

Credit Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

The White House says Idaho schools will lose about $6.6 million this school year if the sequester happens. These automatic spending cuts are set to take  effect this Friday unless Congress reaches an agreement.  

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Budget Cuts
6:24 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Local Effects Of Automatic Federal Budget Cuts Hazy

Adm. Samuel J. Locklear addresses officers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Friday.
Credit Courtesy of I Corps, U.S. Army

Northwest military bases, universities, national labs and parks await guidance for how to implement automatic federal budget cuts. The so-called "sequester" is scheduled to take effect Friday.  The White House Sunday released a state by state report detailing the impacts of  automatic spending cuts. You can read the report on how these cuts could affect Idaho here.

The commander of U.S. military forces in the Pacific says every scenario he's contemplated for the automatic spending cuts hurts readiness. Admiral Samuel Locklear had just toured Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma on Friday. Locklear says one of the most visible impacts will be furloughs of civilian defense workers, which could start in April.

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