Transportation Enhancements Fight Growing More Intense
As Capitol Hill continues battles over budget priorities and how to best balance transportation priorities with the currently unsustainable Highway Trust Fund, Transportation Enhancements (TE) are already center stage in the debate. TE recently came under attack in the Senate when Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) offered an amendment to prohibit the use of these funds for certain projects during a recent Senate floor debate on the current continuing resolution. Fortunately, Coburn's amendment did not pass. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been cleared to offer an amendment to eliminate the program during the upcoming Senate floor vote on the first round of combined appropriations bills (called mini-buses) when the Senate returns October 31.
Are partisan politics holding up progress?
On some days it seems like Democrats and Republicans in Washington can agree on nothing. Adding to the partisan impasses are dozens of obscure Senate procedures that have a significant impact on how and when legislation is considered and passed. Most people know that the filibuster – which requires 60 votes to allow a bill to be debated or voted on – has recently become a common element of the Senate’s daily business, invoked on essentially every piece of legislation. However, fewer people know that Senate rules require the minority party’s consent to hold committee hearings after 2 p.m. or that Congress often holds “pro forma” sessions during recesses which allow bills to be passed with only a handful of members present and prevent Presidential recess appointments.
“Are parks and open spaces essential to our state economy?” the Arizona survey asked. “Absolutely ” said 92 percent of the Arizonans surveyed. “Do you visit parks at least a couple times a year?” “Yup,” said 86
PE vs. Summer Camp
The acronym “PE” holds a lot of negative associations for some people, bringing back memories of seemingly impossible fitness tests and rope climbs, along with tween and teen mortification about changing in a school locker room and various other indignities
To Tax or Not to Tax. Is that the Question?
One of the tasks assigned to the Deficit Reduction Committee is to recommend tax reform that includes changes to the tax code in order to build revenue and to pay for tax credits in order to build the economy. After the Senate voted procedurally this week to reject the President’s jobs bill, Democrats are considering breaking the package into smaller, more appealing pieces. It’s not clear if they would still attempt to offset these smaller bills of spending and tax cuts with targeted tax increases. The two parties are severely divided over the matter of proper distribution of the federal income tax. What Democrats call “the wealthiest paying their fair share” is called “class warfare” by Republicans.
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
November 2011 marks the 20th year of Supervisors’ Management School (SMS). Taking a moment to reflect on a program that has provided 20 years of continuing education to professionals in the parks, recreation, and leisure service field I look back
The End of Thinking Outside the Box
At the special roundtable, “Financing the Future” hosted by NRPA and the Urban Institute on September 27th in Washington, D.C., one comment in particular came through loud and clear: There are no more boxes to think outside of anymore. How true. In a full day of frank and passionate exchanges among not only parks professionals and advocates, but also mayors of U.S. cities, speaker after speaker offered ideas, insight, and counsel for what ails the financing of parks and recreation in America. Not everyone agreed with each other, and that was good. Much common ground was identified, which more than ever is crucial for moving forward.
Budgeting for Two?
To an outsider, the federal budget process can be both opaque and frustrating. The federal fiscal year ends on September 30th every year, yet only four times in the last three decades, and not since 1997, have appropriations bills funding all federal agencies passed by that date. In order to buy more time to debate and pass full-year appropriations bills, Congress passes short-term stopgap measures called Continuing Resolutions (CRs). While CRs allow Congress to prevent a government shutdown by extending federal funding authority, they generally provide for only limited changes to policy or programmatic spending levels. In recent years, the Congressional budget process has been particularly maligned by endless CRs.
“The economy of the future will be based on relationship rather than possession.” I remember reading that prediction by Wired Magazine futurist John Perry Barlow in 2003. The internet was careening from infancy to a wild toddlerhood, Napster was