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Omnibus Appropriations Bill provides $20 million for State LWCF funding

From National Recreation and Park Association, Feb. 25, 2009

In late 2008, Congress and our nation turned their focus to the impending elections and as a result, the majority of the FY 2009 appropriations bills were not finished and Congress is now considering an Omnibus Appropriations bill. The House Appropriations Committee recently released the text of the FY 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill which provided $20 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance program. Additionally, LWCF State Assistance is projected to receive an additional $6 -$8 million through offshore lease revenues, authorized by the Energy Security Act of 2006, bringing the total funding to just over the FY 2008 levels of $24 million.

Dedicated funding provided through the Energy and Security Act of 2006 was provided as a means to supplement the recent dismal appropriations for the program. As more dedicated funds become available as a result of the Energy and Security Act, it is important for Congress to realize that additional funding provided through the annual appropriations bills is still required. Funding from the Energy and Security Act should supplement annual appropriations and not supplant it.

According to the National Park Service, states have identified over $27 billion in state and local needs. NRPA advocates should implore House and Senate members to provide, at a minimum, the equivalent to FY 2008 appropriations within the omnibus spending bill, and $125 million for LWCF state assistance in FY 2010.

The House Committee provided zero funds for the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program.

NRPA advocates are hopeful that the Administration will provide adequate funding for these state and local parks and recreation programs in its proposed FY 2010 budget. An outline of President Obama’s FY 2010 proposed budget is expected to be released on Thursday which may provide some details on state and local parks and recreation funding.

For more information contact NRPA Public Policy at 202-887-0290.


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