APRIL 2011
NRPA’s Advocacy Saves LWCF Stateside Funding

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Shortly before midnight on Friday, April 8, 2011, President Obama and leaders from the House and Senate reached a deal to fund the federal government through the end of FY11 (Sept. 30, 2011). The final deal resulted in a $40 billion cut to FY10 spending levels. Although this legislation contains nearly $40 billion in total spending cuts, approximately $17 billion of this total will come from changes to mandatory spending programs. As a result, the legislation reduces discretionary spending by less than $23 billion compared to FY10.

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Cuts to Park and Recreation-Related Programs Loom in Transportation Funding

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There is cause for deep concern regarding the prospects of park and recreation-related transportation programs.  The House-proposed budget for FY12 is being taken up in Congress now that the FY11 budget logjam has been cleared.  The Republican-proposed budget would slash annual transportation spending in FY12, cutting $21 billion from an authorized amount of $85 billion for this year.  Concurrent with the deliberations for the FY12 budget year are the separate efforts of the Administration and Congress to write a new long-term reauthorization for the nation’s Surface Transportation Program, currently known as SAFETEA-LU. 

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Recap of NRPA Legislative Forum

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NRPA hosted the 2011 National Legislative Forum on Parks and Recreation March 16-18, and by all accounts the event was a tremendous success.  More than 300 people, representing 44 states across the country, came to Washington, D.C. to advance the interest of public parks, green space, and recreation opportunities on a national scale. The Forum was highlighted by a policy dinner featuring U.S. Department of Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary, Ron Sims. 

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The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act Continues To Gain Support on the Hill

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The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (URLC), H.R. 709, continues to gain support on Capitol Hill and now has 40 co-sponsors.  The legislation would provide federal grants to parks and recreation agencies in urban communities, including counties and other municipalities, for rehabilitation and construction of recreation areas and facilities, as well as for at-risk youth programs, innovation, and planning initiatives.  In this tough fiscal environment, passing this bill will not be an easy task.  However, the importance of parks and recreation to the long-term economic, public, and environmental health of our communities is resonating on the Hill. 

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New ADA Rules for Trails and Shared-Use Paths
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Park and recreation agencies are advised to take note of new requirements regarding powered mobility devices on trails and in facilities. The implementation of a new Rule related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regarding the use of “Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices” (OPDMD’s) became effective March 15, 2011.

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