By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs, Goodwill Industries International
Perhaps Congress is feeling the holiday spirit, or lawmakers recognize that we’re heading into an election year, or our collective advocacy efforts have paid off – whatever the motivation, Congress (the House and Senate) and the Administration have reached a deal on federal funding and a year-end tax bill, thus averting a government shutdown. At the time of this writing, the Senate passed legislation to increase funding to a series of federal agencies ahead of a Friday deadline to fund the government. The chamber is set to pass a second package to fund the rest of the federal government later in the day. The House passed the bills earlier this week. The measures are expected to be signed by President Trump in short order. Please see below for some of the highlights:
The Tax Deal:
Repeals the 21% tax on nonprofit parking and transit benefits. This is an issue that Goodwill® Industries International (GII) worked on with a number of nonprofit coalition partners. Thank you to everyone who sent letters to their members of Congress through our action alert to support this repeal!
Extends dozens of temporary tax incentives that either already expired, or would be in a couple weeks, through 2020. This includes the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), New Market Tax Credit, Opportunity Zones (investing in low-income areas), and Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave, among others.
The Funding Deal:
Once signed by the President, avoids a government shutdown on December 20
Combines the 12 appropriations bills into three packages, the largest of which includes eight of the 12 spending areas
Many local Goodwill organizations rely on this funding directly or via the state or other intermediaries to help support programs in their communities
The Department of Labor will receive $12.4 billion – $291 million, which is above the FY19 enacted level and $1.4 billion above the President’s budget request. Of this amount, the bill includes $9.3 billion for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), which is $178 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.4 billion above the President’s budget request.
- WIOA formula programs receive $2.8 billion, which is $30 million above the FY19 enacted level
- $175 million for Registered Apprenticeships, which is an increase of $15 million above the FY19 enacted level
- $95 million for YouthBuild, which is an increase of $5 million above the FY19 enacted level
- $40 million for a new investment in community colleges and eligible four-year partners through Strengthening Community College Training Grants
- $405 million for Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which is $5 million above the FY19 enacted level
- Employment Service state grants received a $5 million increase over FY19
- 98,079,000 for ex-offender activities (currently $93,079,000)
The Department of Education receives a total of $72.8 billion in discretionary appropriations, which is $1.3 billion above the FY19 enacted level and $8.7 billion above the President’s budget request. The bill provides for CTE, Adult Education and Vocational Rehabilitation:
- $656,955,000 for Adult Education State grants, which is an increase of $15,000,000
- $1,282,598,000 for CTE, which is an increase of $20 million
- $3,610,040,000 for Vocational Rehabilitation state grants, which is an increase of $88 million
We’ll continue to keep you informed of any new developments. Thank you for your continued advocacy this year that helped contribute to some of these wins this year. We look forward to continuing to advance GII’s public policy agenda with you in 2020.