The Federal government’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 ends September 30, 2019. The new fiscal year, FY 2020, begins October 1, 2019. As you may recall, the House passed their partisan FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (LHHS) bill on June 19, 2019, which included $685 million for Adult Education, a $30 million increase from FY 2019 – and a great first step. Now, it’s the Senate’s turn to act.
After speculation that there might not be a bill mark up, the Senate Appropriations Committee announced that it will mark up its FY 2020 LHHS spending bill in subcommittee on Tuesday, September 10. The Full Committee will do its markup of the bill on Thursday, September 12.
We anticipate that the Senate LHHS Subcommittee bill will be a partisan, Republican-only bill, which has not been the case in the Senate in recent years. It is unclear how the Senate Republicans will allocate funding for education and workforce programs, but it is very possible that, given the LHHS overall funding levels do not allow for many increases, the bill could potentially include cuts to specific programs that are important to us. We are particularly concerned that the bill could reflect the President’s FY 2020 budget request which proposed a $156 million cut to Adult Education. After the Senate acts, the House and Senate will still have to agree on all the funding levels. In the interim, the House and Senate will likely pass a short-term continuing resolution while they work out the differences.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED NOW: The good news is that we will have multiple opportunities to advocate for increases for Adult Education funding. That first opportunity is today! Please email your Senator now to urge the Senate LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee to include the House passed $30 million increase for Adult Education (total of $685 million) in their mark up on Tuesday, September 10. Please tailor this letter by including relevant data and/or information on how your program is making an impact in your State. (Note: Once we know the Senate Subcommittee program levels, we will send out another alert that can be sent to Senators before the Full Committee mark up on Thursday.)