Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nonprofit Security Grant Update III

Rob Goldberg of the Washington Office of JFNA explains:

As many of you know, the President published his budget recommendations for the fiscal year 2012 budget cycle, which begins October 1st.  With this measure, Congress commences its consideration of the budget and appropriations processes for the session.  Meanwhile, Congress has not yet completed work on the current FY2011 appropriations, leaving the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in limbo (along with many other federally funded programs).

Consequently, the federal government, since October 1, 2010, has been operating under temporary spending measures called Continuing Resolutions (CRs).  The current CR expires on March 4th.  Ahead of this deadline, Republican leaders of the House of Representatives have drafted a long-term CR that they will bring to the floor for consideration this week.  The CR would fund the federal government for the remaining 7 months of the fiscal year at nearly $60 billion below actual FY2010 spending levels and at $100 billion below the President’s budget request for FY2011.  The draft CR, in conjunction with an earlier CR that expired in December 2010, would fund the Nonprofit Security Program at $19 million.  This is the same amount we were able to secure for the program in FY2010, and $5 million above the FY2009 funding level. 

The draft CR is expected to pass the House when it comes to a vote.  However, it is also believed that the measure will receive stiff opposition from the Democratic majority when it reaches the Senate body.  In the event that the Senate passes a widely disparate version of the CR that cannot be easily reconciled with the House body, or the Senate simply fails to pass the CR at all, Congress will face a significant dilemma.  It will have to agree to pass an additional short term CR that would provide more time for a consensus measure to be reached between the chambers, or it will face the possibility of allowing for a government shut down when the current CR expires on March 4th.  Often under such time pressures, Congress finds the comity necessary to achieve workable solutions.  In this case, the FY2011 funding impasse presents an early and potentially devastating challenge for the newly divided Congress to overcome.

So, the fate of the NSGP allocation for FY2011 remains tide to the overall resolution of the outstanding appropriations process for FY2011, under conditions where a showdown in Congress is expected in a matter of days. We will continue to work to ensure that the NSGP allocation remains in tact, in accordance with our significant efforts to protect federal social services funding streams of critical importance to the Federation movement.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hopefully, the nonprofit grant process will begin before Pesach; get started now

Status Update. (from Rob Goldberg, JFNA Washington Office)As you may be aware, Congress has not completed the fiscal year 2011 Appropriations bills for the fiscal year that began on October 1, 2010 and expires on September 30, 2011. This week, the House will determine its overall spending levels for the remainder of FY2011. Using the figure established, the House Appropriations Committee will then determine funding levels for each appropriations bill (there are 12, including DHS).

As the subcommittees receive their spending levels, they will apportion their spending priorities – what gets funded at what level? The results of these efforts will become the substance of the next long-term Continuing Resolution (CR), covering 7 months and terminating at the end of the FY11 fiscal year. The House will then take up the CR on the Floor. It appears that consideration of the CR will include an open rule, where specific provisions of the resolution can be amended. This could get pretty complicated as members try to protect funding for projects (including those that previously might have been funded through earmarks).

Once the House completes the CR it will go to the Senate for consideration. The Senate may be apt to oppose the House on a number of funding reductions. It remains to be seen how the Senate leadership will handle Floor proceedings. There is a gentlemen’s agreement in effect that promotes an open rule where amendments are permitted. Whatever differences that come out of the separate House and Senate deliberations will need to be reconciled before completion/passage of the CR.

The current CR expires on March 4th. Time is ticking by, creating pressure for Congress to complete the process of the next CR. The more open the CR is to the amendment process, the longer deliberations will take. With respect to Nonprofit Security grants, and other funding priorities of the Federations, the program’s allocations will be determined as part of the overall CR process. The House has telegraphed that its version of the CR will contain some $36 billion in cuts. The Jewish Federations has been pressing appropriators to maintain our funding priorities at the highest possible levels, including for NSGP. Once the CR is enacted, we expect that the Department of Homeland Security will commence the grant process within 25 days.

If all goes well, that means that the  New York grant application will be ready sometime around Pesach. 

Get started now. We don't know when the grant will be due and there's a possibility that the application period will be shorter than last year. Although DHS hasn't circulated its grant guidance, we assume that it will require most of the same elements as in years past and you can begin the information-gathering process now, including:
  1. Get a vulnerability assessment
  2. Get a DUNS Number (If you did this for previous grants you don't need a new one)
  3. Check out the JCRC-NY grant assistance website (http://www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants) and look at the requirements from last year's Investment Justification. Put together the information ahead  of time.