Last night the House and Senate Appropriations Committees released the text of the omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government through the current fiscal. Lawmakers DID NOT include a provision to repeal or weaken the longstanding Johnson Amendment, the law that protects charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations from partisan politics. This is good news for Alaska’s nonprofit sector!
Thank you to those that signed the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship and picked up the phone to call our congressional delegation, and congratulations to all!
Our partner, National Council of Nonprofits, has put together a list of highlights from the 2,232-page bill that they have deemed most relevant to charitable and philanthropic organizations. Their list includes:
Arts, Culture, and Community Engagement: The legislation would fund the National Endowments for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities at $153 million each, $3 million more than last year. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) would receive about a 5 percent increase over last year, while the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) would be funded at the same level. Each of these programs was slated for elimination in the President’s budget requests for FY 2018 and FY 2019
Census 2020: The bill provides a $1.34 billion increase for the Census Bureau to help prepare for the 2020 count. (Foraker has been at the forefront of pushing for full funding of the 2020 Census, because a fair and accurate count is REALLY critical for Alaskans!)
Food and Nutrition: The bill would appropriate $6.175 billion in discretionary funding for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which is $175 million below the fiscal year 2017 level. It would provide an additional $1.5 billion for the child nutrition programs, including $564 million for the Summer Food Service Program. The legislation would provide $74 billion in required mandatory spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), $4.5 billion below last year’s level.
Health: Medical research at the National Institutes of Health, a longstanding bipartisan priority, would increase to $37 billion, a $3 billion bump. In the bill, there is $2.8 billion for fighting opioid addiction, including $1.4 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Social Services and Assistance: The bill would provide $28 billion in discretionary funding for Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which is $4 billion more than last year. Early childhood programs are slated to receive an increase of nearly $3 billion; Head Start would see a boost of $610 million, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant is slated to receive a $2.4 billion increase to $5.2 billion. There is also a $2.37 billion increase for child care development block grants, an 80 percent year-over-year increase. The bill would provide 12.5 percent in annul credit allocations for four years in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, and expands the income-averaging rules.
Read more from the National Council of Nonprofits about what’s on the list, what’s left out, and what’s ahead for the FY 2019 budget.
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