‘Fiscal cliff’ could hurt local economy, education

WASHINGTON – Without a deal to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff,’ local leaders expect the D.C. area to take a major hit.

In the District, the losses could reach $110 million.

There’s a disproportionate number of contractors and federal employees, but Mayor Vincent Gray expects the big financial hit could give the ax to local programs.

“We anticipate losing money on education and healthcare and homeland security,” says Gray.

Without a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” he worries the area could fall back into a recession.

“It matters little at this stage whose fault it is. What matters to me is bringing people together to be able to find a solution because everyone suffers in the course of this,” says Gray.

“We would lose, based on our best estimates, $110 million. Obviously, that is a lot of money.”

Another big concern regarding education, Gray says, is the potential impact on a program that allows students from D.C. to pay in-state tuition rates at schools out of the area. Local education also could be threatened.

“Money that comes to our charters and our public schools from the Congress could be affected,” he says.

WTOP’s Andrew Mollenbeck contributed to this report. Follow @MollenbeckWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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