NAACP Supports Proposed Increase in EEOC Anti-Employment Discrimination Funding
BILL HAS PASSED THE HOUSE; SENATE DUE TO CONSIDER FUNDING BILL LATER THIS WEEK
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has jurisdiction over employment discrimination issues within the Federal government and also for private employers, State and local agencies, employment services and labor organizations. As such, the EEOC plays a vital role in our Nation’s on-going struggle against employment discrimination. Over the past few years, the EEOC has been woefully underfunded; one result has been an ever-increasing backlog of cases that need to be addressed. Currently, it is projected that the backlog is on pace to reach 102,944 charges by the end of fiscal year 2010. This is nearly double the size of the backlog as it existed less than three years ago. The backlog is, frankly, unacceptable, and the NAACP plans to work closely with the agency, the Executive Branch, and the Congress to see its reduction and eventual elimination.
H.R. 2847, the bill making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State and related agencies for fiscal year 2010, which is scheduled to be considered by the full US Senate later this week funds the EEOC at $367,303,000 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 be 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.
The $367,303,000 funding level for the EEOC for fiscal year 2010 is a good start toward restoring the EEOC to its full potential as a watchdog against employment discrimination. The NAACP strongly supports this amount and urges the Senate to pass H.R. 2847 with the funding levels for the EEOC intact.