Governors Encourage Swift Passage of Federal Spending Package

WASHINGTON—The National Governors Association (NGA) today released the following statement on Congress’ proposed federal spending package, the FY 2018 omnibus:

“Governors commend Congress for prioritizing funding programs essential to states. We urge passage of this legislation this week to ensure continuous operation of the government.

Specifically, governors applaud increased funding for infrastructure projects in areas such as transportation, energy, water and cybersecurity. It is critical that state election officials have the funding necessary to upgrade their equipment and boost our nation’s election security.

The $4 billion to combat the opioid crisis will help states invest in treatment, prevention and law enforcement efforts to stop the spread of these dangerous drugs. More than $2.3 billion in new funding for student mental health, training and school safety programs will help protect our children and promote safe learning environments.

After the costliest wildfire year on record, governors commend Congress’ inclusion of a comprehensive wildfire funding fix, which provides stability for states via a long-term funding solution. The two-year Secure Rural Schools extension will provide additional security for rural students and communities. Last, but not least, increased funding for the disaster cap is appreciated after a record-setting year in 2017.

The spending package also upholds governors’ education and workforce priorities by preserving Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) educator development funding, dramatically scaling up investment in ESSA Student Enrichment Grants, increasing funding for the ESSA afterschool program and preserving Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act state grants.

Governors also appreciate Congress heeding our call from July to prioritize early childhood investment by nearly doubling funding for Child Care Development Block Grants and preserving Preschool Development Grants.

A strong balance between states and the federal government is absolutely essential in preserving the health and welfare of our democratic republic. We look forward to a swift passage of the 2018 omnibus package that prioritizes the needs of our citizens.