By Nannette Miranda
SACRAMENTO, CA - Job seeker Terry Ojeda doesn't know what the sequestration cuts will mean for him.
The Employment Development Department has been expecting to cut unemployment benefit extensions by 10 percent, but the U.S. Department of Labor hasn't said yet what states need to do.
"You're talking about $100 bucks for me, and I'm on the border right now," Ojeda said.
The California Professional Firefighters Union hasn't gotten any direction either. In the past, first responders and other emergency personnel were exempt from automatic budget cuts during gridlock. Since there's no talk of immunity this time, more than 700 federal firefighters throughout the state fear they'll get layoff or furlough notices.
"In this case, we don't know whether that's going to happen," California Professional Firefighters Carroll Wills said. "Most of our folks are operating on the assumption that will happen."
Schools too have no idea whether Congress and the President can come to an agreement in the next few days. Because no layoffs are allowed by law during the school year, district administrators are already trying to meet the March 15 deadline when the state must handout layoff notices if they anticipate funding shortages for the next school year.
Sequestration guarantees millions less for education.
"There'll be more layoffs than certainly would have been because of this sequestration issue," Schools Budget Consultant Kevin Gordon said. "So we are going to see an uptick in the number of layoffs that we see on March 15 as a result of Congress' inaction."