President Obama Introduces 2012 Budget Proposal
Earlier today, President Obama released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012 which begins on October 1, 2011, putting forward an ambitious plan to grow jobs, boost the economy, and invest in a future where all Americans can prosper.
We are pleased that, in the middle of one of the most challenging fiscal environments to face our nation, the president has proposed resources to fund several priorities that invest in communities of opportunity across the United States. Several programs and initiatives that PolicyLink and our partners have been working on include:
- $556 billion for a six-year surface transportation reauthorization, including $119 billion for transit programs over six years – more than doubling the commitment to transit from the prior reauthorization.
- $250 million for the Choice Neighborhoods program which focuses on transformative investments in high-poverty neighborhoods where distressed HUD-assisted public and privately owned housing is located.
- $150 million for the Promise Neighborhoods program to support effective community services, strong family supports, and rigorous comprehensive education reforms to improve the educational and life outcomes for children and youth in high-need communities.
- $150 million for the Sustainable Communities Initiative which helps communities develop comprehensive housing and transportation plans that result in sustainable development, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and increased housing near transit.
- $330 million for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative — with more flexibility given to USDA to use additional resources as needed – to bring grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to underserved communities.
“We thank President Obama for proposing critical place-based investments that will help expand access to opportunity in high-need areas across the country,” said PolicyLink President Judith Bell. “As Chair of the Equity Caucus at Transportation for America, we particularly applaud the president’s commitment to much-needed transportation and infrastructure improvements within these communities, and look forward to continuing our work with the administration and Congress on behalf of these efforts.”
The president’s 2012 budget request also proposes reductions in funding for such important community-serving programs as the Community Development Block Grant program and the Community Service Block Grant program.
PolicyLink will continue to advocate with partners for these and other programs that make a real difference in the lives of low-income people, communities of color, and working families across America. Stay tuned.