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If federal across-the-board cuts happen in 2013, how will cities be affected in the areas of transportation, public safety, and environmental programs?
(Published Oct 17, 2012)
As the League continues to analyze the federal sequestration process, we are learning of more ways cities may be affected. This article focuses on how sequestration will affect federal transportation, public safety, and environmental programs.
An Oct. 3 Cities Bulletin article explored the potential impacts of sequestration on federal economic development programs and Build America Bonds (see the Oct. 3 article).
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, if Congress and the president don’t reach a deficit reduction agreement by Jan. 2, 2013, there will be across-the-board spending cuts to nearly all federal programs. These cuts are referred to as “sequestration.”
Most federal transportation programs are exempt from sequestration cuts. Programs such as the National Highway Performance Program, the Surface Transportation Program, the Highway Safety Improvement Program, and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program are exempt from additional sequestration cuts. However, under the 2011 continuing resolution, the funding level for some of these programs for fiscal year 2013 was reduced.
Several federal grant-in-aid programs such as the State and Local Capacity Bioterrorism Program, State Homeland Security Grant Program, State Criminal Alien Assistance Program and the Justice Assistance Grants Program would be impacted by sequestration cuts equal to roughly 8.2 percent of the original continuing resolution appropriation amount.
Environmental programs, including the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Water State Revolving Fund and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund would be impacted by sequestration cuts of roughly 8.2 percent of the original continuing resolution appropriation amount.
Continuing analysis of sequestration impacts
The League has been in touch with the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget, and the agency will likely prepare a comprehensive impact analysis if sequestration is imminent.
Even if sequestration cuts are avoided through a congressional compromise, keep in mind that the budget agreement could still impact existing programs. The League will continue to analyze the potential impacts of sequestration on Minnesota cities.
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