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Legislative Platform

Conservation

NRPA supports the reauthorization of, and full and dedicated funding for, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF): Along with full and dedicated funding for the LWCF, we support H.R. 2727, bi-partisan legislation introduced by Congressman McKinley (R-WV) which would require a minimum of 40% of the annual LWCF appropriations are allocated to the State Assistance Program.

No Child Left Inside (S. 1306/H.R. 2702)

Introduced by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Congressman Sarbanes (D-MD), this legislation would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind). It would strengthen and expand environmental education in classrooms by providing funds to encourage partnerships between school districts and parks, as well as other community based organizations.

Healthy Kids Outdoors Act (HKOA)

This legislation is expected to be reintroduced in 2014 and provides funding to states for the development of comprehensive strategies related either to expanding environmental education through the school system and finding other means of getting kids and families more physically active in the outdoors.

Health and Wellness

Health and Human Services Appropriations

Funding for prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control that create substantial and sustainable community level programs that prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases through physical activity, healthy eating,  tobacco-free living and community preventive services.  These grant programs support state and local government entities such as park and recreation agencies.

Child Nutrition Act /Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act Reauthorization

This legislation authorizes funding for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Child and Adult Care Food Programs (CACFP) which are managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and provides free meals to low income children while school is out of session and will be up for renewal in FY 2015.  In addition, yearly funding for the SFSP and CACFP is through the Agriculture Appropriations.  Park and recreation agencies are the largest public provider of healthy meals and snacks to children outside of schools.

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act (S.1562)

Legislation introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which would reauthorize the Older Americans Act of 1965.  It addresses the health, welfare and economic needs of older individuals by promoting senior center modernizations and evidence based chronic disease management and falls prevention.

Personal Health Investment Today (PHIT) Act (H.R. 956)

Introduced by Congressman Kind (D-WI), this bill would expand the IRS definition of medical expenditures to include physical activity as preventative medicine.  This would allow individuals to use the pre-tax dollars in Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts to include expenditures such as; membership at a recreation or fitness facility, youth and adult sports league fees, exercise classes, youth camps, organized running event registration fees and other physical activities.

Social Equity

Community Parks and Revitalization (CPR) Act (H.R. 2424)

Sponsored by Representative Sires (D-NJ), this legislation would provide matching federal grants for park and recreation infrastructure in metropolitan areas.  Specifically, this legislation would authorize the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide funding to local park and recreation agencies, through three grant programs: Rehabilitation and Construction, Innovation and Recreation Program and Recovery Action Program. The bill also includes innovative financing for park infrastructure (known as PIFIA).

Transportation

Dedicated funding for Active Transportation options, including trails and pedestrian projects primarily through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). Combined, these programs, found in the federal surface transportation bill “MAP-21”, provide approximately $800 million annually for bike and pedestrian projects and to promote pedestrian and bicycling safety in local communities. MAP-21 is due to expire in September of 2014. 

New Opportunities for Bicycling and Pedestrian Infrastructure Financing Act (H.R. 3978).  Introduced by Representative Sires (D-NJ), this bi-partisan legislation would provide local communities with low-cost loans to build safe and accessible networks of sidewalks, bikes lanes and paths as part of the federal transportation financing program known as TIFIA. Twenty-five percent of the loan financing for this program must be used to help low-income communities.

Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program

Support UPARR’s inclusion in the FY 2015 Interior Appropriations package.  However, funding for UPARR should not be done at the expense (or “in lieu of”) of support for LWCF State Assistance.

Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)

Continue to support funding for CDBG which historically provides up to $100 million annually for park and recreation infrastructure.

 

Dated: March 5, 2014