Minn. schools would take hit if federal budget cuts kick in Friday


In the run up to New Year's it was the fiscal cliff. This week its sequestering.

Congress and the White House are again grappling over automatic federal spending cuts. $85 billion in cuts are slated to take effect on Friday. As MPR reports, a White House breakdown of how the cuts would affect each state shows that in Minnesota schools would take one of the biggest hits. They could lose up to $16 million in federal aid.

Civilian employees of the Defense Department and environmental grants are among the other areas where the cuts would slice Minnesotans.

Here's the White House fact sheet on Minnesota.

On Friday Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood outlined how the cuts would affect aviation -- particularly air traffic control towers, four of which would close in Minnesota.

Another potential airborne effect is the possible grounding of the Navy's Blue Angels flight team, which scheduled to be the headline attraction at St. Cloud's air show this summer. The St. Cloud Times reports the show will go on, with or without the Angels.

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Federal regulators say Minn. taconite plants must cut emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is imposing new air pollution regulations for the taconite industry in northern Minnesota that go beyond state regulations. The Duluth News Tribune reports the new federal rules require plants to install technology to reduce smokestack emissions that cause haze and lung ailments.