Potential fed cuts could cost Philly $149 million

Mayor Nutter this week is putting on the finishing touches for his Fiscal 2012 budget, which he will unveil Thursday in a speech to City Council.

Yes, it's that time of year already.

But the mayor can't entirely turn his attentions to next year, as the Republican-led U.S. House is pushing spending cuts that Nutter says could blow a $149 million hole in Philadelphia's current budget.

An excerpt from a news release today by the mayor's office:

“These cuts to Philadelphia will be devastating to our residents, especially the most vulnerable and will touch all areas of government including public safety, education and housing. Community Block Grant will be cut by 66 percent. This funding is a primary tool used by cities to increase economic opportunity, eradicate blight and build housing. We will also lose 60 percent of funding devoted to summer jobs for youth, $1.5 million in LIHEAP funds, which provides heating assistance for Philadelphia residents, and half of the funding for lead poisoning prevention. These cuts will impact every aspect of how services are delivered to Philadelphians,” said Mayor Nutter. “Congress needs to act to prevent a devastating blow to cities and states across America. These funding cuts will undermine the progress made in Philadelphia since 2008.”

It's too soon to tell what the final federal legislation will look like, as the Senate has not yet voted on anything.

But it's never too soon for big-city mayors like Nutter to make their concerns heard - especially since Philadelphia is expected to be hit hard by deep spending cuts to be announced next week (March 8) by Gov. Corbett.

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