After months of negotiations and a historic 35-day partial government shutdown, the federal government has finally wrapped up work on the fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations process.
President Trump recently signed into law a $333 billion,
seven-bill appropriations package that
funded the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development,
Interior, Justice, State, and Transportation. The package follows five
appropriations passed in September 2018 that totaled $991 billion, providing
funding for the legislative branch and the Departments of Defense, Education,
Energy, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Veterans Affairs.
Our initial analysis of the FY 2019
appropriations bills signals positive news for regions! The bills include level
funding or additional appropriations for many of the priorities we have
advocated for over the past year.
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BUILD Grants: The BUILD program
was funded at $900 million, a decrease of $600 million from FY 2018 but still
well above previous years funding (which ranged from $500 to $600 million). One
major change is that half of that amount must go to projects in rural areas. Up
to $15 million can be awarded in planning grants (though no such awards were
made last year). Up to twenty percent of the funds can be used to pay for
subsidy and administrative costs of Transportation Infrastructure Finance and
Innovation Act (TIFIA) or Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing
(RRIF) credit assistance.
STBGP: Of $3.5 billion in supplemental
highway funding from the general fund, about $2.7 billion will be apportioned
as Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP) funding (up from just
under $2.0 billion last year).
CIG Program: The Capital
Investment Grants (CIG) Program received $2.6 billion, a decrease of $92.3
million. This includes $1.4 billion for “New Starts,” $530 million for “Core
Capacity,” and $527 million for “Small Starts.”
Transit: Transit formula grants through the
Highway Trust Fund increase by $206 million compared to last year, but
supplemental funding for the Transit Infrastructure Grants Program was reduced
by $134 million (to $700 million).
Rail: The Federal Railroad Administration
received $2.9 billion. Amtrak received level funding at $1.9 billion, with $650
million allocated for capital projects along the Northeast Corridor. The bill
also includes funding for State of Good Repair grants ($400 million) and
consolidated rail infrastructure and safety improvement grants ($255 million).
FAA: The Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) was funded at $17.5 billion – $549 million below the FY 2018 enacted
level and $1.3 billion above the president’s request. Airport Improvement
Program grants received an additional $500 million this year to make critical
airport infrastructure investments and Essential Air Service (EAS) received an
increase of more than $40 million.
Drones: The package provided $56 million for
drone integration and $24 million for drone research. It also directed the FAA
to expand the Unmanned Aircraft System Integration Pilot Program without
incurring additional costs.
ACL: The Administration for Community Living (ACL)
was funded at $2.2 billion, a $25 million increase from fiscal year 2018.
Senior Workforce: The Senior Community Service Employment
Program remains level at $400 million, rejecting the Trump administration’s
proposal to eliminate the program.
OAA, Title III: The Older Americans Act (OAA)
Title III programs were either level funded or saw small increases:
- Level funding for OAA Title III B Home and
Community-Based Supportive Services
- $10 million increase for Title III C Nutrition
- Level funding for Title III D Preventative
- $600,000 increase for Title III E Family
Boost to Census
Funding: The Census Bureau is
funded at $3.8 billion, an increase of more than $1 billion from fiscal year
2018. With about $1 billion in carry-over funding from the previous fiscal
year, it’s a big step to ramp up activities related to the 2020 census.
Community and Economic Development
CDBG and HOME: The Community Development Block Grant Program
(CDBG) received level funding at $3.3 billion. The HOME Investment Partnerships
Program was funded at $1.250 billion, a decrease of $112 million. The Trump
administration proposed to eliminate funding for both programs in fiscal years
2018 and 2019.
SSBG & CSBG: The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) received
level funding at $1.7 billion. The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
received a $10 million increase. The Trump Administration recommended that both
programs be zeroed out in their FY 2019 budget request.
Formula Grants: Title I – State
Formula Grants of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
received level funding at $2.8 billion. The breakdown of each grant category
- $845 million for WIOA Adult activities
- $903 million for WIOA Youth activities
- $1.04 million for WIOA Dislocated Worker activities
EDA: The Economic Development Administration
(EDA) received a $2.5 million increase. This allocation ignores the Trump
administration’s recommendation to eliminate funding for the agency.
Homeless Assistance Grants: The Homeless Assistance Grants were funded at $2.64 billion, a
$12.3 million increase from last year. $80 million was also allocated by the
appropriations package to programs addressing youth homelessness.
Housing Choice Vouchers: Housing Choice Vouchers received level funding at $22.6 billion.
Energy & Environment
Brownfields Program: The Brownfields
Project Grant Program received a $7 million increase in FY 2019 for a total of
Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy Program: The
U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Program is funded at $2.38 billion, an increase of $57 million from the last
fiscal year and $1.68 billion above the president’s request.
LIHEAP: The package included a $50 million
increase for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for a total
of $3.69 billion. The Trump administration has recommended zeroing out funding
for this program in fiscal years 2018 and 2019.
FEMA/Disaster Response and Recovery
FEMA: The Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) received $16.6 billion in net discretionary
funding, an increase of $4.2 billion over last year. Also included in the
- $12 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund
to help states and communities respond to and recover from major domestic disasters
and emergencies. This is an increase of over $4.6 billion from last year.
- $3.1 billion for FEMA emergency grants,
training, and other federal assistance (a $199.7 million decrease).
- $250 million from the Disaster Relief Fund for
the “National Public Infrastructure Predisaster Mitigation Fund, which was
established by last year’s FAA reauthorization (Public
Flood Insurance and Mapping: The Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis Program received
$262.5 million, the same amount as last fiscal year. The National Flood
Insurance Fund, which supports the National Flood Insurance Program, received $202
million (a decrease of $1 million).
Rural Development: Rural development programs received $3.01
billion, totaling $10.8 million more than the previous fiscal year and $1.21 billion
more than the president’s request.
Rural Housing and Rental Assistance Programs: $1 billion in single family housing direct
loans and $230 million in multi-family housing guarantees were provided. Rural
Housing Assistance Grants received $45 million ($15 million for rural housing
preservation and $30 million for very low-income housing repair). Congress
provided $1.3 billion for the Rental Assistance Program, which is expected to
fund all expiring FY 2018 contracts.
Facilities Program: This program received level funding at $2.8 billion for direct loans to
help fund rural hospitals, schools, and health clinics.
New Broadband Loan and
Grant Program: The U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service received an additional
$550 million for the Rural Development Broadband ReConnect Program, a new
broadband loan and grant pilot program that was created in the FY 2018 omnibus.
Substance Abuse Crisis
Substance Abuse Crisis
Relief: Congress provided enhanced support for treatment and prevention efforts
across the U.S. tackling the substance abuse crisis. This included:
- Department of Health and Human Services
- $1.5 billion to the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s State Opioid
- $120 million for the Rural
Communities Opioid Response Program
- $20 million for Regional
Partnership Grants to improve the coordination of services for children and
families affected by substance use disorders
- Within the total provided
for Substance Abuse Treatment Programs of Regional and National
Significance in the conference
exploratory statement, the conferees included $12 million for
grants to prevent prescription drug/opioid overdose, $36 million for
first responder training, and $89 million for the Medication-Assisted
Treatment for Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction Program
- Department of Justice
- $77 million for drug courts
- $22 million for veterans’
- $30 million for prescription
drug monitoring programs
- $157 million for the
Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program
& Telemedicine: $16 million was appropriated for Rural Development Distance Learning
& Telemedicine Grants to help rural communities combat the crisis.
Water Infrastructure, Drinking Water, & Waste Disposal
Water State Revolving
Funds: The Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Safe Drinking Water Revolving
Fund programs were level funded, receiving $1.69 billion and $1.16 billion,
WIFIA Grants: The Water
Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Grants program received a $5
million increase from FY 2018, totaling $68 million.
WRDA Grants: Congress provided
$65 million in grants authorized by the 2016 Water Resources Development Act to improve drinking water in small,
disadvantaged communities; schools and child care centers; and areas with lead in
their drinking water.
Water and Waste
Disposal Programs: The Rural Utilities Service Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program
Account saw a mixed bag of funding amounts in FY 2019:
- $1.4 billion for water and waste direct loans
($200 million increase)
- $400 million for water and waste disposal grants
- $30 million for water and waste technical
assistance grants ($10 million decrease)