JUNE 2011
Outlook for FY 12 Appropriations

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The Continuing Resolution (CR) which passed in April trimmed FY11 spending by approximately $40 billion compared to FY10. Now, Congress has turned its attention to the FY12 appropriations bills.  While the Senate has not yet set a budget for the FY12 spending bills, the House has put forth an overall budget that would cut spending by an additional $30.4 billion and is $121.6 billion below the President’s FY12 budget indicating House Republicans are holding firm to their promise to decrease spending.  

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HUD Announces Grants for Neighborhood Revitalization

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On June 7, 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that $3.6 million in Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants will be awarded in FY11 to assist in the transformation, rehabilitation and preservation of public housing and privately owned HUD-assisted housing. Parks and recreation agencies are eligible applicants along with public housing authorities, other local governments, non-profits, and for profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity.

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Impact of Education Gridlock on No Child Left Inside Act (NCLI)

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To date, neither the House nor the Senate have produced a draft of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a.k.a. No Child Left Behind, reauthorization bill.  Realizing a reauthorization bill may be unlikely in the 112th, Republicans are starting to introduce stand-alone bills that would change the current ESEA law.

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Department of Interior Calls for Change to LWCF State Assistance Distribution

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Changes may be on the horizon for the distribution of LWCF State Assistance funding.  The President’s FY12 Budget calls for $200 million to be provided to the LWCF State Assistance program and also calls for changing the current distribution method whereby 60 percent of the State Assistance funds would be used for a competitive grant program administered by the Department of Interior (DOI). 

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Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act Garners Steady Support in the House

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The Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities Act (URLC), H.R. 709, continues to garner measured but steady support in the House and now has 53 co-sponsors.  As those in and around the Hill continue to focus on deficit reduction and cutting federal spending, finding new federal money for urban parks and recreation is a challenging task.

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Advocacy for August Recess

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Each year during the month of August the U.S. Congress is in recess and legislators return to their home states and districts to reconnect with their constituents and reassess their priorities and policy positions.  This is a great time for parks and recreation adovocates to advocate to federal legislators on our top priorities.  Find out how you can get involved in this tremendous opportunity.

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NRPA Launches Citizen Advocacy Learning Module

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NRPA has launched a Citizen Advocacy Learning Module to help people learn the basics of becoming an advocate, influencing public policy, and unleashing the power they have to make a difference in their communities. NRPA Public Policy staff welcomes your feedback on the module and how to most effectively provide resources to parks and recreation advocates.  Please email Joel Pannell if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

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Stormwater Management Creates Opportunities for Parks and Recreation

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it intends to update the nation’s stormwater regulations by November 2012.  NRPA has partnered with American Rivers and several other organizations to support principles that call for increased investment in green infrastructure as a means of stormwater management.

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