by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis
The dedication of a new facility at the Naval Station Newport was a joyful occasion, but the smiles around the base may be short lived.
Thousands of civilian workers may see temporary layoffs, and soon.
This despite Congress giving the Pentagon more leeway on who; or what, to cut.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) said, "It will begin to accumulate and it will be more obvious to the public. But we can't let go of this. I mean we have to go back to Washington and find common ground. It has to be balanced."
Up until now, only some outside contractors and non–essential employees have been laid off.
ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "While the budget cuts have not been that visible yet, that may be about to change.
A source tells ABC6 News that next Friday over 4,000 furlough notices will be going out to civilian employees."
Each of those employees could lose one workday per week, for up to 22 weeks.
Essentially that's a nine percent pay cut; money that could be going to local restaurants, car dealers and other businesses
Governor Lincoln Chafee (I-RI) responded to a question from ABC6 Reporter Mark Curtis: "Are we seeing any cuts or decline in service yet?" asked Curtis.
Chafee said, "Not yet but certainly there is a grave concern, especially in the areas I think are so important like growing our economy, education. Any kinds of cut in education are going to hurt us growing our economy."
The Governor is worried that the cuts to the state's defense industry will eventually trickle down to all other areas of government, and the whole economy.