The federal budget sequestration—the $1 trillion in automatic budget cuts triggered when Congress failed to reach a budget deal earlier this year, has had an particularly harsh impact on the Latino community, local activist groups said at a press conference Wednesday.
The cuts have particularly affected the federal preschool program HeadStart and Meals on Wheels program, which provides free meals to seniors in need.
On any given day, 53-year-old Ron Wooldridge guides dozens of flights in and out of Boca Raton Airport, just east of I-95. But early next month, instead of manning the airport's control tower, he could be standing on the unemployment line.
"I find it a little ridiculous,” says Wooldridge. “They're not thinking of the safety of the aircraft. Or how it's going to affect the rest of the city itself."
Automatic federal budget cuts that took effect this month could force the Federal Aviation Administration to close control towers at least 170 small airports nationwide.
State Senator Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale), a strong proponent of changing Stand Your Ground, says constituencies outside of South Florida are particularly opposed to any conversation about amending the law or gun control regulations.