FEBRUARY 2011
House Passes Continuing Resolution for FY 11; Budget Cuts Would Decimate Many Park and Recreation Priorities
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The House of Representatives passed the highly contentious Continuing Resolution (CR), HR 1, on February 19, 2011, that is necessary to provide funding for the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.  The bill which would cut $61 billion from FY 2010 levels, would have a profound effect on park and recreation priorities. 

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Outlook for FY 2011 Spending Bills
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Prior to adjournment in December, the 111th Congress failed to pass the spending bills for FY 2011 which ends Sept. 30, 2011.   The spending levels for what remains of FY 2011 must now be resolved by the 112th Congress through a Continuing Resolution (CR).   This entails the House passing its version of the CR, the Senate passing its version, and the two chambers conferencing to work out the differences before sending it on to the President.

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President's Budget Proposes Significant Increase for LWCF Stateside

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The President's budget proposal for FY 2012 had some good news for advocates of local and state parks and recreation a proposal to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) at $900 million per year as the President has promised to do by 2014.  Significantly, the President's budget would allocate $200 million for the LWCF state assistance program, $78 million of which would be distributed to the states by formula, $5 million for program administration, and $116 million for new grants focusing on urban parks and other priorities to be awarded competitively.

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White House Releases America's Great Outdoors Report
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On Feb. 16, 2011, the President was joined by a group of conservation and recreation leaders, including NRPA CEO Barbara Tulipane, in the East Wing of the White House to announce the long-awaited report, America's Great Outdoors: A Promise to Future Generations.  The report culminates a nearly year-long process to gather public input and formulate a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda that builds on community-based approaches to protect our lands and waters and connect all Americans to our natural heritage.

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Important Field Hearings on Transportation Reauthorization in Your Area—Submit Your Testimony
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The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is in the process of conducting a series of congressional field hearings and listening sessions in the districts of new Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members.  Hearings began on Feb. 14, 2011, and will continue through Feb. 25, 2011, (or beyond, due to postponement of some hearings because of voting sessions on the Continuing Resolution).  There are many transportation programs that directly benefit parks and recreation, and these programs could be at serious risk. 

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Major Urban Parks Bill Reintroduced-  Reach Out to Your Congress Representative and Ask for Support of H.R. 709. 

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On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) reintroduced the Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (URLC).  This urban parks legislation, already supported by a bi-partisan group of 30 original co-sponsors, has a new bill number, H.R. 709, but is largely the same bill introduced last Congress that authorizes federal grants to parks and recreation agencies and garnered 132 co-sponsors and the organizational support from the 32 members of the Urban Parks Coalition.

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Outstanding Speakers at This Year's Legislative Forum—Not Too Late to Register!

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The 2011 National Legislative Forum on Parks and Recreation will feature a number of outstanding speakers and influential presenters.  They include Deputy Secretary of HUD, Ron Sims, who will present the keynote address at the National Policy Dinner.  Also invited is Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, who joined the President at the White House last week to announce the recommendations in the America's Great Outdoors report.

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New Rule Proposed by the SEC Could Unexpectedly Affect Park and Recreation Jobs

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Late breaking news has come to NRPA regarding a proposed new rule being considered for adoption by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC Rule 34-63576).  This proposed rule is in response to the provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed last year by the 111th Congress.  

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