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Fermilab gets funding cut by 9 percent

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – Fermilab Director Pier Oddone said the high-energy physics laboratory plans to reallocate funds from other projects in light of a 9 percent cut in federal funding.

Oddone announced earlier this week that Fermilab is expected to receive $368 million in funding this year, 9 percent less than last year.

“We have been spending at a lower level since the beginning of the year in anticipation of these cuts, proposed last February,” Oddone said in a statement. “However, sequestration has resulted in even greater cuts than anticipated, which has required some significant adjustments on our part. To accommodate these additional cuts with minimum impact to our scientific mission and our staff, we have made a proposal to the Department of Energy to reallocate some funds from projects, which can take some delay.”

Oddone said no furloughs are expected.

U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, expressed disappointment in the Fermilab cuts.

“The work done by scientists and researchers like those at Fermilab is essential to our economy by unlocking untapped potential for growth across countless job-supporting industries,” Hultgren said in a statement. “On Friday, I sent a letter to President Obama co-signed by 17 members of Congress from around the country, Democrat and Republican, urging the White House to prioritize funding for essential scientific research and reverse their disproportionate slashing of the programs at Fermi, which threaten to undermine critical research and job creation initiatives at a time when we need them most.”

Former Fermilab scientist and U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, said the cuts “were about what people were guessing.”

“It’s not a complete blindside,” he said.

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