Following the elections, a “lame duck” session of congress is expected to convene for several weeks to address many issues including the sequestration. Absent legislative action, the first of the reductions will be implemented on Jan. 2, 2013.
While the OMB’s sequestration report provides estimated funding reduction for over 1,2000 budget accounts, it does not provide details on how the sequestration would affect specific federal programs, activities, and projects, stating that "additional time is necessary to identify, review, and resolve issues associated with providing information at this level of detail."
The League of California Cities continues to work closely with our federal lobbying team to understand what sequestration would mean for California cities. Initial analysis anticipates further reductions to vital local government oriented programs that provide critical support to cities, assisting with implementation of community and economic development initiatives, affordable housing projects, human services programs and public safety services and equipment. Specific program reductions would hit the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, and COPS and Byrne Justice Assistance Grants. These programs have already experienced significant cuts over the last two federal fiscal years and would face an additional 28 percent reduction beginning in 2013 through 2021.
Beyond these programs, the sequestration would also impose cuts to federal surface transportation funding, with roughly $739 million in highway and road funding vulnerable to these scheduled spending cuts.
The League will continue our efforts to understand the full ramifications for our local communities and work towards potential alternative solutions to avoid the deep across-the-board cuts to federal programs.
In the coming weeks, the League is planning a webinar and city officials should be prepared to send letters on the importance of these programs to their congressional representatives in preparation for the lame duck session.