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updated: 2/28/2013 6:26 AM

Budget cuts may hurt Scott Air Force Base

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Associated Press

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- One of the hardest hit areas in Illinois by federal budget cuts could be Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois.

The automatic budget cuts are set to kick in on Friday unless lawmakers in Washington do something to avert them. Spokeswoman Karen Petitt says the cuts could mean 4,500 of the 5,000 civilian workers at the base must take 22 unpaid furlough days.

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Marilee Reuter is among those civilian workers, along with her husband, a fellow retired Air Force veteran who helps plan midair refueling missions. Reuter says the family already has canceled a vacation to Hawaii. She also says dining out and home improvement will be put on hold.

Aides to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn say they are concerned but hopeful for a deal in Washington.

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