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Republican Leaders Worry How Sequestration Cuts Could Impact Florida

With looming federal budget cuts on the horizon, President Barack Obama could issue an order to reduce federal spending for valuable programs at any time on Friday. And, it’s an announcement Republicans say could be very bad for Floridians.

What’s known as sequestration could mean a huge dip in funding for the state. And, Governor Rick Scott says it will have a dramatic impact on Florida's military bases and defense industry. Scott also says sequestration will lead to reductions in the National Guard which the Governor says could be detrimental to public safety.

"As you know our National Guard is so important to us whether it's dealing with wildfires in part of the year and hurricanes in another part of the year. But if it's going to happen immediate cuts in our national guard our ability to make sure when we have a disaster their national guard can take care of us," said Scott at an event in Jacksonville Thursday.

Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford says sequestration is also serious problem as lawmakers work to craft a balanced budget during this coming session.

“We are concerned about the budget and the sequester. Once again, the federal government remains to create an aura of uncertainty. There is an aura of uncertainty that continuously comes out of Washington D.C. And, it’s probably why we’re so skeptical about things, like Medicaid expansion,” said Weatherford at a separate event in Tallahassee.

11:59 p.m. Friday night is the deadline to stop sequestration cuts from being implemented. If Congress and the President can’t come to an agreement, it would mean $85 billion in automatic spending cuts over the next few months nationwide. About $54 million of that is expected to impact Florida schools this year.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.