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Raise Your Voice: Join the Nonprofit Sector in Speaking Up About the Federal Budget

by Jennifer Gray

The FY18 federal budget is a seminal issue that will have profound effects on the work of Maine’s nonprofit sector – both the work we do and the people we serve.

Devastating Cuts On the Table

Photo credit: Bangor Area Homeless Shelter

  • Congress’ upcoming decision on how to handle “sequestration” budget caps will likely determine whether the federal programs which provide key funding for affordable housing development, preservation, rental assistance, public housing, homeless services, weatherization, heating assistance, community development block grants and other key programs will see devastating cuts.
  • It will also determine whether other important non-defense discretionary programs, such as those which ensure that we have clean air and water, nutritional supports for seniors, and public health protections, will see similar harmful reductions.

Maine’s Nonprofit Sector is Taking Collective Action

  • MANP is partnering with other statewide and regional organizations across Maine (see list below) in an effort to make sure that our Congressional delegation continues to support sequestration relief with parity – that is, relief that is shared equally between defense and non-defense discretionary programs. This principle has helped to ensure that program cuts over the past six years were not even more harmful than they’ve been.
  • How this is addressed in the FY18 budget (currently in a continuing resolution until December 8th) will be a very important moment for the nonprofit sector’s work.

Partners

This exciting new cross-sector collaboration on federal budget issues includes the following Maine organizations:

  • Maine Council on Aging/Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging
  • Natural Resources Council of Maine
  • Maine Children’s Alliance
  • Maine Association of Public Housing Authority Directors
  • Maine Community Action Association
  • Maine Public Health Association
  • Maine Equal Justice Partners
  • United Ways of Maine
  • Maine Affordable Housing Coalition
  • Island Institute
  • Maine Mayors’ Coalition
  • Maine Conservation Voters
  • Maine Association of Nonprofits

Sign On Letter

  • To add your organization’s name to the letter below, contact Jenn Burns Gray at jgray@nonprofitmaine.org and for questions, call (871-1885) or email Jenn. Deadline is Wednesday, November 1 at 5:00 p.m. Please share this with your partners and colleagues.

November ___, 2017

Dear Senator Collins, Senator King, Representative Pingree and Representative Poliquin:

The undersigned Maine organizations urge you to ensure that critical and successful programs benefitting Maine people are adequately funded in the FY18 fiscal year, by continuing the bipartisan practice of providing relief from sequestration budget cuts, with parity, for defense and “non-defense discretionary” (NDD) programs.

Mainers care deeply that our air and water is clean, that our public health systems are strong, and that our seniors have access to the meals and transportation they need. We also care that our children have access to quality education and nutritious foods, that our homes are safe, warm and affordable, and that our cities and fisheries alike have the economic development tools they need to grow and prosper.

NDD programs serve these vital needs in Maine and across the country, but have been subject to repeated cuts over the past six years as a result of the appropriations caps and sequestration process established by the 2011 Budget Control Act – so much so that the cap on NDD funding in FY17 is 13.4 percent below 2010 levels, adjusted for inflation. These cuts are compromising our public health preparedness, weakening our infrastructure, and hurting our people.

As you and your colleagues consider an FY18 spending plan in the coming days, we ask you to remember that NDD programs support the Maine economy and help Mainers lead healthy, productive lives. Please work together to protect NDD programs from further cuts, and provide sequestration relief that is equally balanced between defense and nondefense programs.

We appreciate your consideration of our concerns, and look forward to working with you to help produce a bipartisan budget agreement that keeps Maine, and the nation, safe and secure.

Sincerely,

 

One thought on “Raise Your Voice: Join the Nonprofit Sector in Speaking Up About the Federal Budget

Dawn Daigle says:

Please keep me updated on your work

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