Webinar on the Political Landscape of the 112th Congress and Outlook for Parks and Recreation

On Jan. 12, 2011, beginning at 2 p.m. (EST), join NRPA, Recreation Resources Services, The Ferguson Group, and the NC Park and Recreation Association as we take an in-depth look at the political landscape in the 112th Congress and what the changes at the federal level may mean for parks and recreation, and learn how to effectively communicate with elected officials at all levels of government.  Space is limited, so register today!
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NRPA Members Urged to Reach Out to New Members of Congress

As a result of the Nov. 3, 2010, elections, there will be 13 new senators (12R, 1D) and 94 new representatives (85R, 9D) in the 112th Congress.  Preliminary discussion in Washington, D.C. about the agenda for the 112th Congress has focused on decreasing federal spending by returning funding for discretionary programs to the FY 2008 levels.  This could have a significant effect on park and recreation agencies by impacting funding for capital projects funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and transportation to funding for afterschool programs funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Local Government Support for LWCF

The 112th Congress has begun advocating for a 40 percent allocation to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program. Congressional offices continue to tell us that the success of our advocacy efforts is dependent on a ground swell of voices from the local level. This means having advocates as well as city and county elected officials weigh in on the importance of LWCF State Assistance to local communities. The engagement of local governments in the advocacy for LWCF State Assistance will send a strong message to Congress.
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Omnibus Public Lands Bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was pushing an omnibus lands and water bill during the final hours of the lame duck session, but to no avail. Dying with his America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010 package was a provision that would have permanently authorized the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and George Voinovich (R-OH) had already sent a letter requesting Senate leadership to provide full and dedicated funding to LWCF during the lame duck session.
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FY 2011 Appropriations

On Dec. 21, 2010, Congress enacted a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the federal government operating until March 4, 2011.  The CR funded the majority of programs, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance Program, at FY 2010 levels. 
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Surface Transportation Extension Through March 4

Congress extended the federal surface transportation programs to March 4, 2011. 

AGO Report

The AGO Report has yet to be released.  Administration officials have shared that the expected release date will be mid-January.  Once the report is released, NRPA staff will prepare a summary to share with the NRPA membership.