By Tom Branen
On June 8, a letter of support for national and community service from 511 state service commissioners representing 50 commissions was sent to the Congressional Appropriations Committee leadership.
From Huntsville, Alabama to Gillette, Wyoming and from Madison, Mississippi to Madison, Wisconsin, this letter demonstrates the breadth and the depth of our dedicated network of state service commission leaders and their vast reach across our nation. This letter in support of national and community service from over 500 governor-appointed, volunteer service commissioners sends a powerful message to Congress as they are working to prioritize funding for the upcoming fiscal year which starts in just a little over 3 months.
In the last six weeks the House and Senate have moved ahead setting the 302(a) appropriations allocations for FY 2016. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees have now set the 302(b) allocations to divide total appropriations among the 12 subcommittees, each dealing with a different part of the budget. They have set these allocations with the sequestered caps in place stemming from the Budget Control ACT of 2011.
The subcommittees are now marking up their bills that decide how to distribute funds within their 302(b) allocations. The Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill that includes CNCS received a $153.1 billion 302(b) allocation in both the House and the Senate. This is $3.7 billion less than the FY 2015 allocation. Therefore, the subcommittees will have to make adjustments in their bills to work with $3.7 billion less than last year.
It is critical that CNCS and its programs have champions. The commissioner letter, with 511 champions on it, is a great start.
Both the House and Senate Labor H Approps Subcommittees are expected to mark up their spending bills in late June or early July. More to come as this process moves forward.