Spending bill has some nuggets for nonprofits

Written on Mar 27, 2018

The federal government is funded, at least through September, as President Trump signed a $1.3-trillion spending bill on March 23. The bill includes expenditures relating to health, family, and the arts that impact nonprofits and the communities they serve.

The 2,200-page bill features a number of provisions related to health and women and families. Over $4 billion is allocated to the Administration for Children and Families for child support enforcement and family support programming and a total of $492 million is earmarked for preventative and prosecutorial measures relating to violence against women. The bill specifically directs $215 million in grants to combat violence against women, $40 million for rural domestic violence and child abuse assistance, $35 million for transitional housing assistance, $35 million for sexual victims’ assistance, and $20 million for grants aimed and reducing violent crime against women on school campuses.

The spending bill also includes a $3-billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an $800-million increase in funding to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and allocates over $3 billion to substance abuse treatment and prevention, including $1 billion for State Opioid Response Grants.

Spending increases are also earmarked for the arts and housing. The bill provides $152.8 million each for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), $141.5 million for endowment activities and $11.3 million for matching grants.

The bill also increases the ceiling of state housing credits by 12.5% through 2021 and sets U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) budget at a total of $42.7 billion. The allocation represents a 10-percent increase over 2017, according to an organizational statement from Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable-housing nonprofit, and includes an increase in the HOME Investment Partnerships Program from $950 million to $1.36 billion and a bump from $3 billion to $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants.

More administrative-focused elements of the bill include the exclusion of language repealing the Johnson Amendment - which prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging in partisan politics - and $320 million for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the sole purpose of enforcing, operating, and servicing Public Law 115-97, the December 2017 tax bill. The funds will be available until Sept. 30, 2019 and requires the submission of a spending plan for the funds to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and House.

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