Happy Fall From Your NRPA Public Policy Team!
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Happy Fall From Your NRPA Public Policy Team! 
 
It was great seeing many of you at the NRPA Annual Conference in New Orleans! In case you missed it, we were proud to recognize Som Subedi from Portland Parks and Recreation as our Park Champion of the Year! In addition, we were thrilled to increase the number of Park Champions to over 500. If you haven't yet taken the Park Champion pledge committing to invite your members of Congress to an event at your park this year, be sure to sign up. We're working hard on Capitol Hill to advocate for parks and rec, but it's you all, our members and Park Champions, who can truly help convince Congress to continue investing in parks and recreation nationwide.
 
As Congress grapples with big picture spending and tax reform issues, we're happy that our members have continued to demonstrate their value on the ground to elected officials. Education and Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and scores of other members of Congress have been out to see the power of your parks and programs in person through the Park Champion initiative. As we gear up for an end-of-year budget battle, it's those experiences that make a difference in how Congress views investments in our priorities. Keep up the good work (and let us know about it!) and we'll continue to keep you posted! 
 
The NRPA Public Policy Team
Kevin, Kate, Jayni and Chelsea

 
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Last week, Congress passed its final FY2018 budget framework. It's important to keep in mind that although Congress has passed its framework, the spending levels for individual programs (called appropriations) have not been finalized. This past fiscal year, the majority of our priority programs fared well, especially in light of proposed cuts and program eliminations. Our best bet for FY2018 will be to maintain the funding levels of FY2017. Learn more on the blog.
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Ask Congress to Maintain FY2017 Funding Levels
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Congress recently decided to pave the way for a tax reform debate after wrapping up FY2018 budget negotiations earlier than expected. We want to encourage members of Congress and their staff to consider the PHIT Act as part of an end of the year budget deal as they consider a variety of tax reform proposals. This piece of legislation would allow individuals to avoid out-of-pocket costs for physical activity by using up to $1,000 ($2,000 for couples) from their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs). Learn more on the blog.
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Ask Congress to Include PHIT Act in Budget Deal
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Every year, we recognize an incredible Park Champion with the Park Champion of the Year award. In case you missed it, Som Subedi, of Portland Parks & Recreation, claimed his custom Park Champion WWE-style championship belt in New Orleans. It was, if we do say so ourselves, awesome. Learn more about our other Park Champion of the Year finalists and sign up so you can be in the running for next year.
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Learn More About the Finalists
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Thanks to great efforts on Capitol Hill and local advocacy efforts from out-of-school time providers like yourself, congress voted in September to restore the funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Center program. Hundreds of thousands of children who rely on these programs, many of them at their local park and recreation agency, will continue to benefit from healthy meals, physical activity, educational enrichment, extended learning opportunities and more.
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Get the Details on the Blog
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