NAACP?SUPPORTED LEGISLATION TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR EEOC EMPLOYMENT PROTECTION AND ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVES PASSES U.S. SENATE

LEGISLATION WHICH INCLUDES NAACP-SUPPORTED FUNDING FOR PRISONER RE-ENTRY PROGRAMS MUST NOW BE CONFERENCED WITH HOUSE VERSION

Legislation funding many NAACP priorities, including the EEOC, the 2010 Census and programs that fall under the US Department of Justice for fiscal year 2010 has now passed the Senate.  As it passed the Senate, many of the programs supported by the NAACP were funded at levels that we had advocated for. 

Specifically, the bill, H.R. 2847, providing appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice and State for fiscal year 2010 contains:

  • $367,303,000 for the EEOC in FY 2010.  This represents an increase of more than $23,000,000, or 7.5% over last year.  Furthermore, the bill specifies that $30,000,000 of the total amount is slated for State and Local Enforcement Agencies.  This recommendation is a much needed increase of $4,000,000 over the current budget of $26,000,000 for State and Local Enforcement Agencies.  The total $367,303,000 funding is also equal to the amount that was agreed to by the House of Representatives earlier in the summer as well as the amount that was requested by President Obama when he submitted his budget request to Congress in February. 
  • $64 million for prisoner reentry, including $50 million for Second Chance Act programs and $14 million for reentry initiatives in the federal Bureau of Prisons. The version of the bill that passed the House of Representatives in June provides $114 million for prisoner reentry, including $100 million for Second Chance Act programs. The Senate appropriations bill also provides $10 million for the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA), while the House version provides $12 million.
  • $7.3 billion for the Census Bureau, which is $50 million less than requested by President Obama as well as $50 million less than was included in the House version of the bill.  This amount is also $4.2 billion more than the Census Bureau received in 2009.  A problematic amendment that would have required the Census Bureau to ask about a respondent’s citizenship status, which held the bill up for a couple of weeks, was defeated by the Senate 60 -39.

At this point, representatives from both chambers will meet to hammer out differences between the two versions of the bill and the final version must pass both the House and the Senate prior to going to President Obama for his signature.  The NAACP will remain vigilant to ensure that our priorities continue to receive adequate funding.

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