What’s in President Obama’s Budget for the District?

In the midst of talk about increased spending pressures and large budget shortfalls, there is some good news: President Obama released his proposed FY 2011 budget last week, with over $100 million in new funding for DC.

Many of the President’s proposals would help low- and moderate-income District residents weather the ongoing recession. Some programs represent extensions of funding included in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 and apply to DC and all states. Other funding has been proposed to aid existing local programs, such as DC’s Housing First program and HIV/AIDS treatment efforts.

While Congress still needs to approve the funding, here’s what could be available to DC in FY 2011.

“¢ $77 million in additional Medicaid funding: As part of last year’s stimulus act, the federal government provided extra Medicaid funding to states to help them manage their unprecedented budget shortfalls. The President’s proposal would extend the extra Medicaid funding for an additional six months, providing a much-needed boost to DC’s budget.

“¢ $46 million in additional TANF Emergency Contingency Funding: The President’s 2011 budget would make DC eligible for $46 million to help it meet the rising need for cash and employment assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The District already has applied for a similar amount that was made available through 2010 under the Recovery Act. The President’s budget also provides additional funding for another TANF fund to help states address rising demand for services.

“¢ $20 million for education reform: DC again is poised to receive additional funding from the federal government to support its school reform efforts. According to reporting by the Washington Post, the funds would support a data system to track student progress and the implementation of a weekend school program. The President’s proposed budget for DC also includes $23 million for public schools, $20 million for public charter schools, and $9 million to phase out DC’s private school voucher program.

“¢ $10 million for DC’s Housing First program: This year, the federal government provided $17 million to help DC house chronically homeless residents. The $10 million proposed for FY 2011 would help create about 240 units of housing, which would be targeted primarily to serve chronically homeless veterans, according to the Washington Post article.

“¢ $5 million for HIV/AIDS counseling, testing, treatment, and outreach: The DC Department of Health would receive the funding to serve residents in areas of the District that are deemed to be high-risk and high-poverty.