RI could face $34M in Pentagon civilian cuts

February 20, 2013, 5:40 pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Pentagon says Rhode Island could be facing about $34.1 million in Defense Department civilian payroll cuts if automatic government spending cuts kick in March 1.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday if a budget deal isn't reached, he may have to shorten the workweek for the "vast majority" of the Defense Department's 800,000 civilian workers. They'd lose one day of work per week, or 20 percent of their pay, for up to 22 weeks, probably starting in late April.

The Pentagon's budget chief, Robert Hale, told reporters in Washington the economic impact would be felt nationwide.

Pentagon figures show its civilian payroll in Rhode Island for the 2012 fiscal year was $403 million, and about $368.9 million for 2013.

The biggest potential civilian payroll losses would be in Virginia, California, Maryland, Texas and Georgia.

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