The threat of sequestration has New Mexico's national labs making preparations for budget cuts.
Los Alamos National Lab spokesman Fred De Sousa says layoffs are not in the immediate future and the extent of the cuts is still uncertain. He says there are other options thanks to actions taken in 2011, when the lab faced a 400 million dollar budget cut. "We've got basically four main levers- more controlling of purchasing, looking again at the subcontractor force, looking at using the carryover funding from previous years, and maybe the very last thing that's on the list is examining the possibility of furloughs."
Officials at Sandia National Laboratory say after studying the impacts of various budget scenarios, they are also confident they can avoid any immediate impact on Sandia employees. Sandia spokesman Jim Danneskiold says maintaining a broad portfolio and increasing workloads has allowed them some flexibility in dealing with the current fiscal environment. However, Sandia officials are re-evaluating their hiring plans for this year.