By MICHAEL BLAKE A senior Republican lawmaker on Friday criticized President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for slashing funding for local government.
The $1 billion cut in the budget proposal would affect about 20,000 local governments across the country.
The plan calls for $1,100 in spending reductions for local authorities in 2018, a $50 cut in 2019, and a $250 cut in 2020, according to the budget summary provided to reporters.
The cuts would affect many local governments that are struggling to make ends meet.
The plan includes a $1 million cap on local government spending that was established in a 2013 law signed by President Barack Obama.
But the state and local governments would not see that money unless they sign off on it.
“The governor has asked for a reduction in the state funding to local governments to ensure that local government officials don’t have to pay higher taxes and be burdened with the cost of state services and programs,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., said on the House floor Friday.
“That will save local governments from having to increase taxes, but it will not save them from having the additional burden of state spending.”
But Frelinghuyssen noted that the state has spent $2.3 billion on local governments since Trump took office in January.
“What he’s proposing is not a big change, it’s not a significant change,” he said.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, federal spending on local services and government operations was $1 trillion in fiscal year 2017, up $2 trillion from fiscal year 2016.
Federal spending on state and county government totaled $1 per capita in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.
The budget request would also cut $350 million from the state’s 2018 budget request, with an additional $100 million to local government agencies.
The 2018 budget also would cut $150 million from federal funding for programs that help disadvantaged communities and $75 million from other federal programs that assist low-income communities.