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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Board wants action
Will consider resolution on sequestration

Monday, November 26, 2012

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

The Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider adopting a resolution to encourage federal representatives to act on the federal issue of sequestration.

The supervisors will meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the Henry County Administration Building.

The board will consider the proposed resolution that urges Congress and the president to amend the Budget Control Act of 2011 to avoid “the drastic cuts to state and local governments, including education,” the proposal stated.

The federal Budget Control Act includes a provision to impose $1.2 trillion in across-the-board budget cuts (also known as sequestration) to almost all federal programs. It will become effective Jan. 2 unless it is acted on by Congress.

Deputy County Administrator Dale Wagoner said that “from a local government standpoint, we depend heavily on state and federal funds, mainly in areas of education, but there are numerous grants and programs that we are concerned about.”

Because most federal money the locality receives comes through the state, Wagoner said, “we really don’t know what direct impact it will have on us.”

But the county believes the cuts will hit everything from education to substance abuse and mental health, funds for child care and older Americans, state and local law enforcement agencies, juvenile justice, work force investment/Title 1 grants, Community Development Block Grant programs, economic development administration and others, he said.

In education, funding reductions could result in larger class sizes, fewer course offerings, possible four-day school weeks, loss of extracurricular activities, teacher and staff lay-offs and eliminating summer programs, the resolution stated.

“Another piece of this from a local standpoint, especially for Henry County, is the fact that we have endured numerous cuts already,” Wagoner said. “We are suffering from our own issues as well.”

If approved, the resolution will be forwarded to federal representatives.

The county school board unanimously approved a similar resolution at a recent meeting.


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