Omnibus Spending Bill Has Passed!
What does it mean?
Spoiler alert: It Includes many provisions that impact nonprofits and the communities we serve!
- Preserving the "Johnson Amendment," the provision in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that protects charitable nonprofits, foundations, and houses of worship from getting entangled in partisan politics (as we reported last week). Through "grassroots" and "grasstops" nonprofit advocacy, negotiators dropped their provision to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment. Thank you to all Oregon nonprofits that responded to the call to alert our representatives, and advocated for keeping politics out of charities!
- A $4 billion increase in funding for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF).
- Reductions in funding from last year's expenditures in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps). The National WIC Association reports that the act contains adequate funding for WIC to meet caseload needs for the remainder of FY 2018. Details of the cuts and changes can be found on the National WIC Association website.
- A $3 billion increase in support for early childhood programs, including $610 million more funding for Head Start and $2.4 billion in additional funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
- A $1.5 billion increase in support for child nutrition programs that help fund free or reduced-price school lunches and snacks, and $564 million in funding for the Summer Food Service Program that provides nutritious meals for low-income children when school is not in session.
- A $2.8 billion appropriation to fight opioid addiction, including $1.4 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- A $1.34 billion increase in funding for the U.S. Census Bureau. This is double what President Trump had requested for census funding and will help ensure a complete and accurate census count in the 2020 Census. NAO has made the 2020 Census one of our policy agenda items for 2018.
- A $492 million appropriation for Violence Against Women Act programs.
- A $300 million increase in funding for Community Development Block Grants.
- A $3 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health.
- An increase in the maximum Pell Grant award (to $6,095) providing financial aid for college tuition.
- Small increases in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for National and Community Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The President had proposed eliminating all of these programs in his budget blueprint.
- A $350 million funding increase for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which helps many nonprofit employees. The additional funding is intended to fix an issue that arose because some nonprofit and government employees have been ineligible for loan forgiveness because they were enrolled in the wrong loan repayment plan.
- A $400 million increase in funding for charter schools.
- A 10% increase in funding for the Internal Revenue Service, the main federal agency that regulates charitable and tax-exempt nonprofits.
- An increase in low-income housing tax credits.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act passed with broad bipartisan support.