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Letter: Ending sequestration is critical

By Rosemary Hunt, Assistant State Director, Parkinson’s Action Network, Jackson

As the federal budget committee worls to reach agreement on Fiscal Year 2014, I urge Sens. Franken and Klobuchar and Rep. Walz to press their colleagues on the committee to make ending sequestration the highest priority.

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Sequestration has already resulted in a $1.5 billion cut in the National Institute of Health budget this year and a $209 million reduction in the FDA. Unless Congress acts, sequestration will remain in place until 2021, cutting these programs so important to the more than 1.5 million Americans living with Parkinson’s disease and all those others that depend on research and development of treatments for their devastating diseases.

Additional cuts to federal funding could also result in a loss of $478.2 million in Minnesota, which could have a destructive effect on our economy. Ending sequestration and supporting innovation and research are investments in not only Minnesota’s future, but our country’s.

I, along with other members of the Parkinson’s community in Minnesota, will be closely watching their leadership on this important issue.