BUT, WHAT IF?
Following news that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had enough funding available to sustain disaster relief efforts through the end of the current Fiscal Year on Friday, the Senate reached a deal Tuesday night to fund the federal government through November 18th. FEMA's announcement that it would not require additional funding to continue relief operations this week defused a potential confrontation between Senate Democrats and House Republicans over how to provide additional disaster relief funding. Republicans had insisted that emergency funding be offset by cuts to other federal programs, while Democrats argued that disaster relief funds should not require a specific offset. By pre-empting the need to provide funding in Fiscal Year 2011 for disaster relief, FEMA's declaration enabled Congress to avoid the issue of offsetting disaster funding and allow FEMA to begin immediately drawing down its Fiscal Year 2012 funding on Saturday.
Easy Come, Easy Go
On Monday, September 19, 2011, President of the United States (POTUS) Barack Obama unveiled his proposal on how to pay for the American Jobs Act (AJA, no bill number yet) as part of his overall plan for deficient reduction. The “Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction” was given to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, which is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budgetary savings. This plan includes a series of changes to the tax code and entitlement programs that would produce an estimated $3 trillion in savings over the next decade, in order to pay for the Jobs Act and to scale back the deficit. One of the cornerstones of this plan is a proposal to limit the value of itemized deductions and exclusions to 28 percent for households with a gross income over $250,000, or individuals with a gross income of $200,000.
What Does the American Jobs Act Mean to Parks & Rec Agencies?
In an address to a joint session of Congress last week, President Obama outlined a new proposal to create jobs and repeatedly urged Congress to pass the legislation quickly. This bill, the American Jobs Act, would provide approximately $447 billion in tax cuts and new spending, all targeted towards revitalizing the economy and creating jobs. For local parks and recreation agencies, there are several elements of this proposal that should be of particular interest.
Transforming an Ugly Duckling — Success at Selena Butler Park
An ugly duckling is being transformed into a beautiful swan right before our eyes in Atlanta, Georgia. The renovation of Selena Butler Park, NRPA’s latest Parks Build Community project, is in full swing and on track to be completed in less than 90 days; just in time for a dedication ceremony on November 2, 2011, during the 2011 NRPA Congress.
Make Way for the Millennials
Guest contributor Shane Mize is the Recreation Superintendent for Missouri City Texas. Has a B.B.S. in Sports, Fitness and Leisure Management from Hardin Simmons University and a M.S. in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration from Western Illinois University. He is
Markups and Mayhem
This week signals the return of Congress after a month-long recess. With Congress facing looming deadlines relative to passage of the FY12 spending bills (appropriations bills), the expiration of the current surface transportation law (which includes funding for trails), and the creation of a plan for deficit reduction, this week’s activities provides a telling forecast of the rapid pace Congress will move through the end of the year and the mayhem that pace is likely to produce.
Heart of Hialeah
One of the highlights of working on Parks & Recreation magazine is visiting actual parks. Not parks in theory, but parks in practice, doing all of the things that parks do for their communities. Senior Editor Maureen Hannan wrote about