Joint letter calls for Labor-HHS investments.

March 16, 2012

National Skills Coalition has joined with more than 900 other national, state and local organizations on a letter urging congressional appropriators to prioritize funding for health, education, job training, social services, and children’s programs in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 appropriations cycle.

Each year, the House and Senate appropriations committees must set specific funding levels – referred to as “302(b) allocations” – for each of the twelve regular appropriations bills, including the bill providing funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies (commonly referred to as the “Labor-HHS bill”). The letter, which was jointly circulated by the Committee for Education Funding, the Coalition on Health Funding, and the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (of which National Skills Coalition is a convening partner), calls on appropriators to provide the largest possible 302(b) allocation for the Labor-HHS bill, subject to the discretionary budget caps established under last summer’s Budget Control Act. The letter further calls on appropriators to work with their colleagues to prevent harmful cuts to Labor-HHS programs under the sequestration process established under the BCA; if current law is not changed, the sequesters will take effect in January 2013, and will result in estimated cuts of $715 million to federal workforce programs, $4.1 billion to Department of Education programs, $5.7 billion to discretionary health programs, and $725 million to Head Start.

This important letter sends a clear and powerful message about the need for continued support for federal health, education and workforce programs, and National Skills Coalition is proud to stand with our national partners and other organizations in support of these critical investments. We will continue to monitor developments in the FY 2013 budget and appropriations process relating to workforce funding, and will provide updates to the field as new information becomes available.