Federal cuts mean longer wait times at O'Hare

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Entertainment,Travel

CHICAGO (AP) — Federal officials say among the effects of automatic budget cuts is an up to 50 percent increase in wait times at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. It will also mean fewer grants and reduced hiring by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Department of Homeland Security sent Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn a letter Monday with details.

The cuts mean reduced overtime and furloughs for Customs and Border Protection officers, resulting in 2- to 4-hour waits during peak air travel times.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will reduce several grants, including those to help firefighters.

The Coast Guard will have to cut maritime operations by about 26 percent on Illinois rivers, which will affect safety and security. The letter says the reduction mean patrols of infrastructure and hazardous cargoes will be scaled back.

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