Inside208

Federal Budget Deal Protects Critical Programs

Posted on March 27, 2018 by Dene Westbrook

Last Friday, President Trump signed off on a budget deal that reverses many of the spending cuts he had originally proposed…protecting numerous programs that are vital to local governments in Michigan.

According to information provided through the National League of Cities, the omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 1625), provides for a $1.3 trillion spending proposal that maintains or increases funding for key programs that cities use to fund infrastructure, economic development and public safety, among others.

Action on the budget deal follows a concerted lobbying effort during the NLC’s Congressional Cities Conference earlier this month.  The conference was attended by MML staff and a number of Michigan communities and provided an opportunity to meet with members of Michigan’s House and Senate congressional delegation as we advocated for the importance of preserving Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), TIGER grants, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, workforce development and education programs, and energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

 

The bill also includes additional funding for water infrastructure through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including for lead testing and lead reduction in schools, which NLC has been calling for in its Rebuild With Us infrastructure campaign. The bill also provides for the reauthorization of the brownfields redevelopment program, the expansion of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to make up for losses in affordable housing stemming from tax reform, and the extension of the National Flood Insurance Program until July 31, 2018.

For specific funding level changes, please click here. Selected provisions from the bill include:

  • CDBG: First meaningful increase since 2010, from $3 billion to $3.3 billion
  • Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER): Increased by $1 billion
  • Airport Discretionary Grants Targeting Small and Rural Airports: Increased by $1 billion
  • Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds: Increased by $300 million each
  • Transit Infrastructure Grants: Increased by $834 million (including $400 million to help communities modernize their bus systems and $400 million for capital assistance to transit systems)
  • Rural Broadband Infrastructure: $600 million in new funds
  • State and Local Law Enforcement Grants: Increased by $1.2 billion for a total of $2.9 billion in 2018. This includes a total of $446.5 million, an increase of $299.5 million more than fiscal year 2017, in DOJ grant funding to help State and local communities respond to the opioid crisis.
  • State Opioid Response Grants: $1 billion in new funding for grants to states to address the opioid crisis (this funding is in addition to the $500 million provided in the 21st Century Cures Act)
  • National Pre-disaster Mitigation Fund: Pre-disaster mitigation funding increased from $149 million to $249 million to build infrastructure that prevents loss of life and mitigates risks, reduces damage from future disasters, and lowers flood insurance premiums.

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Chris Hackbarth is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 and chackbarth@mml.org.

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