Sequestration could eventually require state agencies to eliminate somewhere between 280 to 375 federally funded positions, or find alternative funding though state revenue sources.
That doesn't count county Boards of Education, which would see similar reductions in federal funding streams for Title I programs for low-income students, and for special education.
"Most of that money is going to pay teachers," he said.
For the 2013-14 budget year, which starts next July 1, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has asked most state agencies to submit budget requests that cut spending by 7.5 percent.
Public education, Medicaid and most Health and Human Resources accounts, Corrections and certain other state agencies are exempt from the proposed cuts.
The potential for additional 6 to 8 percent cuts on top of the cuts in state funding makes it difficult for agencies to plan ahead, McKown said.
Additionally, the "fiscal cliff" would result in automatic increases in federal income taxes and other federal taxes, and the resulting economic downturn likely would further affect state revenue collections, he said.
McKown said he personally believes Congress will act before or immediately after the Jan. 2 deadline.
"I would imagine you're going to see some movement there," he said. "I don't think you'll see them leaving for Christmas recess without doing something, even if it's just kicking the can down the road further."
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.