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Yesterday, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney released the Administration’s full Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal to Congress. While we knew that vital programs for municipalities would likely be subject to significant reductions, the full budget proposal is even more concerning than expected.

The proposal calls for $54 billion in cuts to domestic programs and even more severe cuts to social welfare spending. It includes the total elimination of some 66 programs, including Community Development Block Grants, Community Service Block Grants, Health Professions and Nursing Training programs, HOME Investments Partnership program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and the National Infrastructure Investments (TIGER) Grant program. The budget also looks to cut $610 billion from the Medicaid program, over the next 10 years, while slashing $400 million from support for local substance abuse and mental health programs.

The proposal assumes the elimination of the Affordable Care Act, which, according to one independent analysis, would cost New Jersey $31 billion, over the next 10 years. That Urban Institute analysis also projects that New Jersey would lose 20 percent of the federal funding it would otherwise receive, under the ACA. That would make our State the hardest hit of any in the Nation.

The proposal now goes to Congress, which still retains the power of the purse.  The Federal budget year commences on October 1.  Thus, Congress will have until midnight, September 30, to enact legislation to govern federal spending throughout the next Fiscal Year – or to enact a stop-gap measure to keep the government offices open and federal programs operational.

League President, Mayor Al Kelly of Bridgeton, and our League Officers, will be contacting all the members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, expressing our concerns with the proposal and the need for major changes. Likewise, our federal partners in Washington, at the National League of Cities (NLC), will do their best to convince all (or, at least a majority) in the Senate and the House of the need for significant modifications.

But to save the vital programs that make our State and our municipalities strong and stable, we need your help. Click here to send a letter to your members of Congress today and tell them how the Administration’s budget proposal will impact your community. By sharing real examples of how your hometown leverages federal funds to build your community, we can stop this budget proposal from becoming reality.

Contact:   Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njslom.org, 609-695-3481 x121.

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