Omnibus Includes $12 Million Increase for Independent Living

Omnibus Includes $12 Million Increase for Independent Living!

On Friday, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (PDF) that the House and Senate aboth passed on Thursday. The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package will fund the remainder of FY 2018, and we are excited to report that included in the spending package is a $12 million increase for the Independent Living Program! Included in the $12 million increase is $2 million for Part B and $10 million for Part C, which brings total federal funding for IL to a total of $113M ($24,878,000 for Part B and $88,305,000 for Part C). We are thrilled that rather than accept Trump’s proposed to cut IL, Congress recognized the importance of the IL program and rejected his proposal.

This is a huge win for the Independent Living Program! Thank you for all of your efforts to teach your Members of Congress about the IL Program. Thank you for the work you do in your communities to fight for disability rights. This increase is a direct result of the incredible, critically important work the Independent Living community does across the country every single day.

We would also like to express our gratitude to some specific members of Congress who were instrumental in achieving this increase. As we mentioned in a previous alert, Representative Hanabusa (HI) led a strong effort in Congress for increased funding for the Independent Living Program. As a result of her “Dear Colleague” letter and NCIL members around the country contacting their Representatives, 23 additional Representatives signed on to Representative Hanabusa’s letter!

The list of signers is also included at the bottom of this alert. If your Representative signed on, please make sure to thank them!

Additional Information About the Omnibus:

In addition to increasing funding for the Independent Living Program, many other programs that impact people with disabilities were increased as well, and many of the harmful proposals in Trump’s budget proposal were strongly rejected. Just some of the disability programs also receiving increased funding for FY 2018 include Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Agencies, State Developmental Disability (DD) Councils, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs). Moreover, the omnibus provides: $2 million in additional funding for Assistive Technology grants; $2 million more for Voting Access for Individuals with Disabilities; $54.4 million more for Vocational Rehabilitation state grants; $385 million more for Section 811 mainstream vouchers for people with disabilities and $83 million more for the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities Program; $1.3 billion for the Census; $305 million more for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) formula grants; and $275 million more for IDEA state grants. And, the omnibus includes a $3.9 billion increase for the Education Department, with funding allocations representing a clear rebuff of dangerous proposals put forth by the President and Secretary DeVos.

This is huge win for the Independent Living Program. Thank you for all of your work to secure this increase in funding! Congress is on recess for the next two weeks, so while your Senators and Representative are back home, make sure to thank them for their support. Also, use the recess as an opportunity to build on this advocacy win by meeting with your Members of Congress and encouraging them to visit their local CIL! Let’s keep up the momentum and make sure Congress truly understands the incredible value of the IL Program!

List of Signers to Representative Hanabusa’s IL Letter:

  • Representative Hanabusa (HI)
  • Representative Robert A. Brady (PA)
  • Representative WM Lacy Clay (MO)
  • Representative J. Luis Correa (CA)
  • Representative Danny Davis (IL)
  • Representative Peter A. Defazio (OR)
  • Representative Dwight Evans (PA)
  • Representative John J. Faso (NY)
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI)
  • Representative Al Green (TX)
  • Representative Brian Higgins (NY)
  • Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)
  • Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA)
  • Representative William R. Keating (MA)
  • Representative Seth Moulton (MA)
  • Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
  • Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ)
  • Representative Jamie Raskin (MD)
  • Representative Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (CNMI)
  • Representative Terri Sewell (AL)
  • Representative Carol Shea-Porter (NH)
  • Representative Thomas R. Suozzi (NY)
  • Representative Paul Tonko (NY)
  • Representative Peter Welch (VT)
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