—Alice Gaston, Program Asst., Weatherization Services & Mark Schmeissing, Senior Policy Analyst, CSBG Services—
President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request today, nearly two months later than normal. The budget focuses on the middle class while reducing the deficit and replacing the sequester with more specific budget cuts and tax increases. You can read President Obama’s introduction to the budget here.
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) was once again proposed to receive a nearly 50% reduction of funds at $350 million. This would be a nearly $300 million reduction from the FY 2013 allocation. The President has proposed the same funding level since FY 2011. A distinct difference in the FY 2014 budget proposal is that it does not include funds for Rural Community Facilities or other CSBG discretionary projects (Community Economic Development, JOLI, etc.). This would mean that, according to the funding formula, the allocation for minimum states would not be reduced below 0.5%.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) received an allocation of $184 million. This figure is up from the FY 2013 allocation of $139 million, but below the $210 million NASCSP and 34 Senators requested of the Administration earlier this year. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) received an allocation of $3 billion, the same as in FY 2013.
These numbers are just a starting point for the FY 2014 Congressional Budget. NASCSP will work with national partners and allies on the Hill to advocate for sustainable funding for CSBG and WAP. Further analysis will be provided on the State of Poverty blog in the coming weeks.