The White House just submitted their budget proposal for fiscal year 2019. As in last year’s proposed budget, it recommends the shutdown of the federal agency that administers national service programs, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and elimination of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. These steps would end the country’s 80-year investment in national service.
“The elimination of national service funding would have significant negative effects here in Minnesota,” says NYLC CEO Amy Meuers. “In our community, numerous nonprofits have increased their capacity to serve local residents, thanks to CNCS. Through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, organizations such as the Minnesota Alliance With Youth, Math, and Reading Corps deliver critical services in the high-need areas of education, health care, and veterans services.”
Since 1994, nearly 30,000 Minnesotans have served as either AmeriCorps or Senior Corps members, fighting the opioid epidemic and helping communities rebuild after natural disasters. They connect returning veterans to jobs, support seniors living independently, preserve public lands, foster economic opportunity, prepare students for college, and more. In exchange for their service, members enhance their job skills and earn an education award they can use to pay for higher education.
National service also has multi-partisan support. A poll in nine presidential battleground states found that 83 percent of registered voters, including 78 percent of Republicans, support increased or maintained federal investment in national service.
Fortunately, the Administration’s budget is just one step in the process to determine fiscal year 2019 funding. Congress ultimately decides which federal programs are funded and at what levels.
Congress will soon begin the FY19 appropriations process. Please send an urgent message to members of Congress to continue, and even expand funding for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
“We look forward to working with our congressional delegation — including Senators Klobuchar and Smith — to ensure that national service continues to provide vital support to communities across Minnesota,” says Meuers.
Last year, supporters successfully mobilized to protect funding for CNCS. “With your help, we can do it again. Thank you for taking action with us today,” Meuers adds.
(Read the full Voices for National Service statement on the President’s Budget here.)