BOSTON (WWLP) - Governor Deval Patrick says Massachusetts could lose hundreds of millions of dollars because across the board federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, are set to go into effect March 1st.
"I'm scared, I'm concerned," said Governor Patrick. "Defense contractors are expecting a hit as well and certainly research grants to our colleges, universities, academic medical centers as well."
According to Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey, more than 60,000 jobs, mostly in defense, could be lost in the state, and $127 million dollars in federal research funding could be cut. But the Patrick administration says the impact is uncertain and will not be immediate.
"We will await further guidance from the Federal Office of Management and Budget and concurrently based on the information that we have assessed likely impacts and prepare preliminary implementation and mitigation pans," said Executive Office of Administration & Finance Secretary Glenn Shor.
Massachusetts Republicans say federal spending cuts are necessary in light of the country's mountainous debt, but they say sequestration should not have been the solution.
"It's definitely not the end of the world that the federal government has to have a reduction in its budget by about 2.5 percent," said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). "One of the things that's very unfortunate is the fact that folks in Washington can't come together sufficiently to avoid this kind of default budgeting."
Social Security, Medicaid and food stamps will be exempt from the sequester cuts. Medicare will be cut by about 2 percent and defense spending cut by about 8 percent.