Pennsylvania Group Shares Concerns Over Sequester - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Pennsylvania group shares concerns over sequester

SHARON, Pa. - Members of the group Keystone Progress gathered in front of Republican Congressman Mike Kelly's office on a cold, rainy Wednesday night to express their fears of what could happen if the sequester goes into effect this Friday.

Mercer County Democratic chair, Charles Rice, was among them.

"They're playing politics with people's lives here in Pennsylvania and it's going to affect the ones who can least afford to be affected," Rice says.

He says the state of Pennsylvania will lose $240 million when across-the-board cuts take place on March 1.

Many workers at Primary Health Network in downtown Sharon could lose their jobs, which will directly impact the patients who rely on it and similar facilities.

"Primary Health helps the people that can't afford it," Rice explains "They don't have the insurance, they don't have the best insurance. It's the lower income people that service that and it's going to be cut."

Social programs, like the ones that deliver senior meals, will lose between $800,000 and $900,000 in Pennsylvania and $47 million will be cut from the state's already struggling education system.

Luanne Salaga, a retired teacher in Sharpsville, shared her concerns with 21 News.

"The teachers who are now working with students are facing huge class sizes," she says. "They're facing furloughs and layoffs and my main worry is the youth - the future generations."

However, according to an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, 53 percent of people polled said congress should move forward with the sequester, while 37% it should not.

The message from Keystone Progress: Cut a deal before the cuts take effect.

"This could be stopped and they don't want to do it," Rice says. "They want to play the politic game in Washington."

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