On April 1, the Minnesota Budget Project released a new sign on letter on the federal budget that will be sent to the Minnesota Congressional delegation very soon. We urge organizations to sign on to the letter no later than noon next Friday, April 10th.
The letter specifically urges Congress to approve a final budget resolution conference report that provides adequate funding for non-defense domestic discretionary spending. This is the budget category that includes annual funding for everything from affordable housing, education and environmental protection to health care, medical research, social services and more.
In February, President Obama sent his budget proposal to Congress calling for an 7.1 percent increase in domestic discretionary spending over 2009 levels. Congress is likely to give final approval to a smaller increase than what the President requested. However, some in Congress will be attempting to make much deeper cuts to domestic discretionary spending. It is important that nonprofits tell our Minnesota Congressional delegation to provide an adequate level of funding for discretionary programs in 2010.
The new letter also expresses support for federal tax policies that help low- and moderate-income Minnesota families, such as recent improvements in the income level to qualify for the Child Tax Credit and the increases in the Earned Income Tax Credit for families with three or more children.
The House and Senate are expected to pass separate budget resolutions by the end of this week. A final budget conference report will then be negotiated and sent to the House and Senate for final approval in mid-April.