Little Good News as Cities Respond to President's FY 09 Budget

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Bush's final budget offers little good news in terms of funding for programs important to cities and towns, according to an analysis conducted this week by the National League of Cities (NLC...


Energy Programs

-- Funds for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy were cut by 27 percent to $1.26 billion in FY 2009, eliminating the $220 million Weatherization Assistance Program that local governments use to help families insulate their homes and lower their heating or cooling costs.

Environmental Protection Agency

-- The Clean Water State Revolving Fund would receive $555 million in FY 2009, a drop of about $145 million from FY 2008. Through this fund, states and local governments can access low-interest loans to for sewage treatment and pollution control.

Health and Human Services Programs

-- Funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which has helped millions of poor and elderly Americans pay for heating or cooling their homes, would be reduced by 23 percent from $2.57 to $2 billion.

-- Funding for the Social Services Block Grant and the Community Services Block Grant program would be zeroed out. Cities and towns that use these funds to provide welfare and other low income individuals with child care or basic medical services would have to eliminate the services offered or find alternative funding sources.

-- Funding for pandemic flu preparedness would increase significantly from about $78 million last year to more than half a billion dollars this year.

Workforce Development Programs

-- Funds are reduced by $438 million for the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) programs, an important component of local job creation initiatives and used for training dislocated workers and disadvantaged adults and youth.

NLC will hold its Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC , March 9 - 12, which will include high-level meetings with Members of Congress and the Administration, and a push for more discussion on issues of importance to cities in the ongoing presidential campaign. For media registration information, go to http://www.nlc.org/pressroom/conferencepresspage.aspx.

SOURCE National League of Cities