Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray joined more than 150 city officials from across the United States this week in warning about the potential impact of automatic federal spending cuts set to take effect on Jan. 2.
The across-the-board cuts, known as a “sequester,” would total $110 billion in 2013 and $1.2 trillion over the next decade and would affect how much states and local governments receive in non-defense discretionary spending.
That’s a broad term that includes education spending, block grants used to help low-income families pay for heating oil, and money for special food assistance for women, infants and children, according to the Pew Center for the States.
“Discretionary spending has already been significantly reduced in recent years,” Gray and his colleagues wrote to House and Senate leaders. “As our local metro economies — which drive the national economy — continue the struggle to recover from the worst national recession in decades, we cannot bear the financial burden that additional discretionary spending cuts would require just to meet the most emergent needs of our constituents.”