Budget Cuts Could Affect Hundreds of ND Guard Employees - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Budget Cuts Could Affect Hundreds of ND Guard Employees

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Federal spending cuts kick in Friday if congress doesn't reach a budget compromise.

The Pentagon has been ordered to trim 46-billion dollars from its budget.

The effects WILL be felt locally.

Over 6-hundred employees in North Dakota, including around 4-hundred in Bismarck-Mandan, could see a twenty percent cut in pay.

The North Dakota National Guard will be forced to cut $6.5 million dollars from its budget if a compromise isn't reached by Friday. That includes 2.6 million dollars in payroll by changing the work-week for some employees.

"The plan as put out by the Department of Defense right now is one day a week again from April 21st through October 1st of 2013," says Brig. Gen. Alan Dohrmann.

The cuts won't affect everyone.

Dohrmann says there are three types of employees in the guard: federal technicians, federal active guard and reserve soldiers and state employees. The cuts would only effect the federal technicians. But Dohrmann says the those technicians play a vital role.

"So furloughing these folks for 20% of the work week will have an impact on our readiness and that readiness is what prepares us for domestic emergencies, its what prepares our troops to go down range to do their federal missions, so there will be impact in the state of North Dakota. We will do everything to mitigate that, but it will impact our readiness," says Dohrmann.

Dohrmann says the technicians do everything from maintaining equipment to coordinating response to disasters like the floods of 2011. He says the potential cuts have everyone's attention.

"It is a big concern. Obviously we'll focus our efforts to ensure anyone were sending to Afghanistan or any other deployment is fully prepared. We cannot take any chances with training, readiness and the lives of our members," says Dohrmann.

And Dohrmann says the impacts will be felt across the state. The cuts would affect every place the guard has a maintenance shop, including towns like Minot, Valley City and Carrington.

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