Let’s talk Budget!

How would the proposed federal budget affect you?

Have you been keeping up with the proposed federal budget from the current administration?! We have. We want to share just SOME of what’s at stake in the issue areas where we work.

 

  1. First up, Criminal Justice Reform – The new budget will impact many federal grants geared to criminal justice reform. These grants are used by state and local organizations and the proposed cuts are in the millions of dollars. One grant in particular, the Second Chance Act (SCA) supports state, local, and tribal governments and nonprofit organizations in their work to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for people returning from state and federal prisons, local jails, and juvenile facilities. A 28% cut would equal $18 Million. Grants like this serve as a huge benefit to many people across country. This cut puts more strain on the grassroots nonprofits that struggle to gather funding for the great work they do around the community to help reduce recidivism.   Other ways the budget could affect Criminal Justice Reform are:
    >Cuts to After School Programs could contribute to and help perpetuate the school to prison pipeline.

>$891 Million in cuts to the Crime Victims Fund

>Increases in funding towards enforcement while neglecting and making cuts to preventive programs will end up being more costly and hurt our communities. Minorities often are disproportionately represented as offenders in certain crimes and in order to disrupt mass incarceration and stop the school to prison pipeline, we need to invest in the preventative measures.

These are just some examples of how proposed cuts could impact this issue area. We know that other proposed cuts could impact this as well, like the proposed cuts in education.  We must continue to have our voices be heard against the proposed cuts to programs that are proven to prevent youth and violent crime, redirect “at-risk” youth, and help our reentry population. To find out ways you can help and to join the Criminal Justice Reform group, please contact Darius at DSwift@va-bloc.org

2. Continuing the discussion about the proposed budget cuts, let’s look at Education. The proposed federal budget cuts 13.5% from the Department of Education compared to last year. A few of the proposed cuts that could impact our local schools include:

**21st Century Learning (the budget proposes cutting this program completely): 21st Century Learning funds go towards after school programs in Hampton including: Alternatives, Inc., which serves Andrews Pre-K-8 School, Aberdeen Elem, Forrest Elem, Machen Elem, and Tyler Elem

**Arts in education (the budget proposes a complete cut)

**Career and Technical Education (cuts in grants for these programs, cutting $168 million, a decrease of 15%)

These are just some examples of how proposed cuts could impact this issue area. We know that other proposed cuts could impact this as well, like the proposed cuts in mental health.

We must continue to have our voices be heard against the proposed cuts to programs that are proven to provide educational and social supports, enrich students’ academic experiences, and expose them to career options. To find out more ways to get involved in the Education Interest Group contact Cameron at cbell@newvirginiamajority.org.

 

3. More budget talk, this time on Mental Health – The proposed budget would have adverse effects on communities/people of color because of the huge cuts to Medicaid. $600 billion in cuts over the next decade could leave 7.5 million people without medicaid benefits. Since Medicaid is the single largest payer for behavioral health services in the United States this would leave many people in a lurch. The budget would also eliminate the Graduate Psychology Education Program, the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program and the Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program which collectively reduces mental health workforce training by $100 million.

This budget would cause many people to lose healthcare coverage. This would result in people avoiding going to the doctor and/or hospital so whatever medical issue they have will only worsen. This budget can potentially kill people. Research for things like heart disease and diabetes would greatly decrease and they affect a great amount of people of color. The opioid crisis will take a hit as well since $400 million would be cut from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Physical and mental health are connected. Make sure your voice is heard! Let’s speak out against this harmful proposed federal budget! To join our efforts in advocating for Mental Health concerns, contact Melissa at MDale@newvirginiamajority.org

4. The proposed federal budget would negatively impact many women! Read more to find out how Women’s Empowerment could be turned back with this budget.
Point #1–Medicaid – Currently, women receive about 69% of the total spending for Medicaid benefits. 45’s plan would Medicaid spending by more than $800 billion over a 10 year period.

Point #2–Home Energy Assistance–Where women receive about 63% of total spending for home energy assistance programs, 45’s budget plan over the next 10 years would completely cut this program out 100%.

Point #3–Women’s Bureau–This program, established by the Dept. of Labor in 1920, was initiated to “formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.’ It also gave the Bureau the authority to investigate any matter pertaining to the welfare of women in the work industry and is the ONLY federal agency mandated to represent the needs of working women in the public policy process. The current budget is only a mere $13 million. 45’s budget over the next 10 years wants to cut the Bureau’s budget by $10 million, bringing that to $3 million in the budget to continue working for women to receive equal pay, fair and equal working environments, and federal policies written to protect working women.

Point #4–Ban on Health and Human Services funding for “entities that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood.” This ban would include funds from Title X (which surprisingly hasn’t received any proposed budget cuts), which provides money for family planning clinics and Medicaid reimbursements for other services. Between this ‘rule’ and the proposed cuts happening to Medicaid, the message that 45 is sending is that he wants to see these programs end by removing funding elsewhere from the people who generally use these establishments.

Unfortunately, there are plenty more points where that came from. To help us spread the word about how terrible this proposed budget would be for women, especially women of color, join the Women’s Empowerment Group by contacting Alexandria at AWheeler@newvirginiamajority.org

5. Voting is an important part of fighting back against this proposed budget and policies like it that hurt our communities.  Virginia has Primary Elections on Tuesday, June 13th.  Who our leaders are in Virginia can impact the amount of damage done in these areas.  Pay attention and make sure your voice is heard in this upcoming election!  For more information click here —-> Voter Info

To join our efforts in Voter education and trying to increase voter turnout, contact Marcia at MPrice@va-bloc.org

 

Full Budget Language:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/budget.pdf

More Budget Analysis: http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/23/politics/trump-budget-cuts-programs/

 

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