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The Sequester: Timeline of tumult, by-the-numbers scenarios for California

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It's interesting to watch a word outgrow the ranks of Roget's and get called up to the major lexicon of public policy.  " Sequester " is the latest spotlight-stealer to be plucked from its humdrum dictionary days into the glamourous world of bureaucratic buzz. Seduced by slick politicalization, the term now evokes an expectant dread and national financial situation, whether overstated or underestimated. 

Simply, "the sequester" is a collection of cuts in federal spending that are fixed to fire on Mar. 1. For all the warnings and nail biting, it's unclear exactly how bad the cuts are going to be. Much of the scenario planning and prediction is penciled in with approximate time frames and speculated figures.

In California, defense, education, public health, and the environment  could be hardest hit, but the potential carnage is not limited to those arenas. From senior meals to meat inspectors to park service, the state is bracing for impact. 

Sometime before midnight on Friday, President Obama is expected to issue a sequestration order. At that point, Congress will be notified and federal agencies will activate their reduced-funding operation plans. Short of aborting the entire sequester plan or striking a behemoth deficit deal, some version of this will happen.


SEQUESTER TIMELINE:   Scroll through to see the all of the events.