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Federal Cuts Could Slash L.A. Housing and Safety Funding

Up to $115 million may be cut if federal cuts go through on March 1.

Los Angeles could lose up to $115 million in funding by July for housing, community development and public safety programs if steep federal budget cuts scheduled for March 1 are not averted by Congress, the city's top budget analyst said on Thursday.

Congress and President Barack Obama in 2011 agreed to make across-the-board cuts to defense and discretionary spending of about $110 billion per year over 10 years, if Congress did not come up with new revenue or specify other cuts by Jan. 1.

As part of the so-called "fiscal cliff" deal this week to avoid income tax increases on most Americans, Congress delayed the cuts until March 1.

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said the scheduled federal budget cuts would slash about $23 million for Los Angeles public safety and homeland security initiatives and $92 million for local public housing assistance and support services.

Santana urged the City Council and mayor in a report out today to instruct affected city departments to make contingency plans if the cuts go into effect and to notify stakeholders that rely on the funding of potential disruptions in services.

Among the most severe cuts would be a $48 million reduction in Section 8 housing vouchers for low-income families. The cut would force about 15,000 low-income families to pay an extra $115 per month for housing and is likely to jeopardize many families' housing assistance, Santana said.

The police and fire departments are expected to lose almost $8 million that pays for analysis of DNA crime kits, a program to fight internet crimes against children and an effort to reduce rape in prison and detention facilities.

Santana said last week the cuts could force the mayor and City Council to consider layoffs of positions funded by the grants.

"To the extent that the federal funding is supporting specific positions, that would be an option to consider," Santana said. "We would not want to be in a situation where the general fund is being used to support those programs at a time when the general fund is already running a deficit."

The city is facing a budget deficit of well over $200 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Odysseus Bostick January 04, 2013 at 06:35 PM
@Sylvia- the city already spends $7.2 billion a year and consistently runs deficits. The main issue is the structural deficits designed by overly generous pension payouts. Not that police and fire don't deserve to receive a pension of 90% of their salary at age 50. It's just unsustainable. First and foremost is the problem of how the payouts were calculated: based on projected investment returns that matched the dot com bubble. I would support an increase in taxes on medical marijuana and soda consumption, but we should not give the city council any more revenue until those structural deficits in the pension system are remedied. If we give them more money first, they won't fix those deficits until its too late. Your thoughts? www.Bostick4LA.com
John hacker January 05, 2013 at 06:42 AM
Blah blah blah, more lies and bullshit. These bastards have plenty of money to fund Israel's Middle East wars of aggression. The money they spend on killing poor people is always there. Our gov is an international crime cartel, when will you sheep wake up? You are fools.
Right to Bare Arms January 06, 2013 at 01:50 PM
John hacker I have woken up to find out Anti-Sematisim is alive and well in you post.
John hacker January 06, 2013 at 02:27 PM
First of all you spelled semitism wrong. Second, I am Jewish. Third, whats does being against the policies of a country have to do with religion? Look up rabbi Weiss on YouTube, is he anti Semitic? Fourth, your ignorance is profound, it's fools like you that perpetuate endless wars and ignorance. You dick brain ass tard. Go fuck yourself.
sylvia January 06, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Very sad. I just worry about the human victims of these cuts. If pension reform is a feasible solution in the near term, I'm all for it. But more revenue can't hurt and taxing marijuana sales seems like a good source to me.

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