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Possible Sanctuary City financial impacts, and the City's response, on Council's Monday night agenda

From: Craig Kelley

FYI, folks:

 

The short story is that the Manager does not recommend doing anything different right now in terms of establishing a fund or soliciting donations to meet future (potential) shortfalls if federal funds stop coming because of our Sanctuary City stance, but that position may be revisited if we start to feel fiscal pinches. The City has been in the position of responding to reductions in grant funding before and does so judiciously but rarely covers entire grants, some of which cannot legally be covered by the City’s general revenue. The full Report is pasted below.

 

If you’d like to come talk about this Council issue at City Council, you can sign up by phone between 9 AM and 3 PM on Monday at 617-349-4280 and in person from 5-6 PM at the Sullivan Chambers at City Hall. Public comment, limited to three minutes per speaker, starts at 5:30(ish) and lasts at least until 6:00, though if there are enough speakers we often go later. At the end of public comment, people who missed the sign-in window are generally asked if they’d like to speak anyway. The entire Council may be emailed at Council@Cambridgema.gov.

 

Thanks a lot.


Craig

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OriginPOR 2017 #196 : That the City Manager is requested to establish a public fund that can be utilized in the event that the Trump Administration withholds federal funds from Cambridge as a Sanctuary City.

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In response to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-68, regarding the establishment of a public fund that can be utilized in the event the Trump Administration withholds federal funds from Cambridge as a Sanctuary City, please be advised of the following:

 

It has been the City’s general practice not to totally replace lost grant funds with general funds. However, if funding for a significant number of federal or federal through state grants were eliminated or withheld, the City would need to conduct a review of the long-term impact on City services from these reductions and determine which grant funded services could and would continue through general fund revenues. Not all programs and services which are grant funded can be funded through general fund revenues. Therefore, any review to be conducted would need to include an analysis of whether the programs or services are legally permitted to be funded through general fund revenues.

 

If grant funding were eliminated during the City’s fiscal year, the City would need to determine which grant funded services could and would be funded in the short term to maintain continuity till the end of the fiscal year funding cycle.

 

Based on the above information and the fact that the City has strategically funded grant programs in the past which have ended, if possible, I am not recommending that the City pursue the option of soliciting donations or the establishment of a public fund.

 

However, we will continue to monitor federal funding and the potential impact to the City as a Sanctuary City and make recommendations to the City Council, if required.