By Laura Walling, GII senior director of government affairs, advocacy & legislative affairs
Tuesday, October 1st marked the start of the Jewish new year and a new fiscal year for the federal government. While Congress averted a government shutdown, little time remains for them to complete the FY20 appropriations process before another shutdown threat grows near. Congress has passed a continuing resolution (CR) that will keep the government running until November 21st. The President signed the CR quickly after passage. This means that the funding that local Goodwill® organizations utilize to provide vital supports and mission programming, will continue as planned (for now).
Some of that funding goes directly to Goodwill Industries International and is disseminated amongst local Goodwill organizations as subgrantees. The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) which which help seniors find work, develop new skills and talents, and build their financial security, is one such example. Other funding may go directly to local Goodwill organizations as is the case with YouthBuild programs facilitated by many local Goodwills which help low-income youth in urgent need of pathways to education, jobs, entrepreneurship, and other opportunities leading to productive livelihoods and community leadership. Finally, some federal funding may go to states and then trickle down to Goodwills in your community. Local Goodwills who run one-stops (America’s Jobs Centers) receive funding through the federal workforce system.
Lawmakers are in the midst of a two-week recess and there’s pressure on them to finalize their work on the budget when they return rather than having it go so close to the new November 21st deadline….we’ll see how that goes! None of the fiscal year 2020 spending bills have been signed into law, and appropriators have a tall task to pass all 12 bills into law in those five weeks. The House has passed 10 of its 12 appropriations bills. The Senate Appropriations Committee has advanced 10 of its 12 out of committee, but none have reached the floor. We’ll continue to keep our advocates informed of timely updates on the budget and appropriations process and how you can raise your voice to help Congress understand the importance of these investments.