AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Since the supercommittee formed by Congress to create a deficit reduction plan failed to do so, a number of questions have been raised about what that means for future funding for state programs.
The deal was, if the supercommittee failed, the 2011 Budget Control Act will automatically make cuts to discretionary spending, including the Department of Defense budget.
That particular budget stands to lose about $500-billion, part of which is distributed to local police and fire departments for training, equipment, and programs; including homeland security and drug enforcement.
Colonel Robert Williams with the Maine State Police says they could lose up to 40% of federal grant money they've come to rely on year to year.
He says this money has helped pay for a tactical vehicle (which will eventually need to be replaced) and equipment for both police and fire departments, like breathing apparatus and fire clothing - which does have an expiration date.
It has also helped to fund programs that tackle drug use, which Williams says is a problem here in Maine. All of that stands to disappear, or fall on local taxpayers to pick up the bill.
Senator Susan Collins says these discretionary cuts across the board will affect a wide range of people, especially the tax payers.
She says cutting across the board on programs would be devastating, and Congress instead should be looking at each individual program to decide which to cut.