COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Officials in southern Colorado already are weighing the potential impact of funding cuts in the first budget presented to Congress by President Donald Trump.
The America First budget proposes boosting public safety, national security, infrastructure and military strength by cutting $54 billion from other federal programs.
Earlier this week, Aimee Cox, the outgoing community development director for Colorado Springs, informed the City Council about how the cutbacks will affect programs to help the homeless and low-income families.
"It'll be a loss of around $3.7 million for the city," she said. "Our charities are going to have to work harder to fill in the gaps. We serve tens of thousands of people in a variety of ways."
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which provides grants to Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations -- and the National Endowment for the Arts are among the federal programs that will be affected.
"We don't get a lot of federal money, maybe $5,000 or so, annually," said David Dahlin, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. "But it still means real tough decisions in terms of reducing programs, having to let staff go and having to provide fewer community services."
Kristy Milligan, of Rocky Mountain Public Media, said PBS affiliates should be able to handle any funding loss.
"We are only 11 percent funded by federal money," she said. "So 89 percent of our support comes from organizations, individuals, businesses and partners in the community."
Many people who spoke Thursday with KRDO NewsChannel 13 about the issue said they understand Trump's priorities but would rather see a better balance with funding cultural, educational and social programs.
Others said previous threats to cut federal funding never materialized or didn't turn out as severe as first believed.
"It's hard to believe that we'd lose all of our funding," Cox said. "But let's wait and see what the final version of the budget looks like."
Some local leaders said losing federal money isn't entirely bad because it means fewer federal requirements and conditions to acquire the money.