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This week, the House Appropriations Committee unveiled its fiscal year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill. The Labor-HHS bill includes $153 billion in discretionary funding, a $3.7 billion decrease from FY 2015.
While the draft bill reduces overall funding for the Department of Labor (DOL) by $196 million, it would fund the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult, Dislocated Worker, and Youth formula programs at 2015 levels, and would provide slight increases to the Workforce Data Quality Initiative grants, Native American programs, and YouthBuild. The Labor-HHS bill also includes $3.2 million for WIOA technical assistance, and increases the governor’s reserve to 11 percent, up from 10 percent in FY 2015.
The Labor-HHS bill does make a significant cut to the Dislocated Worker National Reserve, and would eliminate funding for the Women Apprenticeship in Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grants. The Adult Education and Family Literacy Act and the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act would face a $7 million cut as well. The committee has yet to release details on how the cut would be apportioned between the two programs. A summary of the proposed funding levels for key education and training programs is below.
WIOA Adult: $776,736,000 (level funded)
WIOA Dislocated Worker: $1,015,530,000 (level funded)
WIOA Dislocated Worker National Reserve: $74,000,000 ($146.9 million below FY 2015)
WIOA Youth: $831,842,000 (level funded)
Wagner/Peyser Employment Service: $642,771,000 (level funded)
Workforce Data Quality Initiative: $6,000,000 ($2 million above FY 2015)
Career and Technical Education and Adult Education and Family Literacy: $1,700,609,000 ($7 million below FY 2015; the Appropriations committee has not released details on how funding will be allocated to these two programs)
Native American Programs: $50,000,000 ($3.9 million above FY 2015)
Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers: $81,896,000 (level funded)
YouthBuild: $82,000,000 ($2.3 million above FY 2015)
WANTO: $0 ($994 million below FY 2015)
WIOA Technical Assistance: $3,232,000
The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee held a “mark-up” for the Labor-HHS bill on Wednesday, June 17. The bill was passed out of the subcommittee on a party-line vote. The measure will now advance to the full committee, where it is again expected to pass along party lines.
The Senate Appropriations committee has indicated that it will release its own Labor-HHS bill by the end of the month. The total allocation for Labor-HHS programs in the Senate is slightly higher than the House level, though it is still $3.6 billion below the 2015 level.
Fiscal year 2016 begins October 1, 2015, so Congress must pass legislation to fund the government by September 30. Both the House and Senate have set overall spending levels for FY 2016 at the post-sequester level, and are moving forward with individual spending bills that reflect that overall level. President Obama has threatened to veto legislation that funds the government at the post-sequester level. National Skills Coalition will provide updates on the appropriations process as it moves forward.