Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The President's FY13 Budget: Aligning Resources with Results

On Monday, the administration released their budget proposal for FY13. The president’s budget proposal outlines the administration’s policy agenda and federal spending proposal for the upcoming year and sets the tone for the national policy agenda. The federal budget becomes the guide by which every major spending and revenue decision is made, making it one of the largest policy vehicles for supporting children and families. Children and families across the country need support as they continue to face difficult challenges in the aftermath of the recession. While many states are beginning to see some progress, state budget shortfalls are still present and families are still facing very difficult circumstances as the economy slowly begins to recover.

One way that policymakers can support families around the budget is through developing and strengthening partnerships with the community. These partnerships can lead to more efficient and effective policymaking. In our new publication, Aligning Resources with Results: How Communities and Policymakers Collaborated to Create a National Program, we highlight the collaboration between community organizations in Philadelphia with state and local policymakers. This collaboration, centered on the result of improving the health of children, led to the development of the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative. The state initiative provided funding for 88 fresh-food retail projects in 34 Pennsylvania counties, creating or preserving more than 5,000 jobs and improving access to healthy food for more than half a million Pennsylvania residents. The success of this collaboration led to a national budget initiative, the National Healthy Food Financing Initiative, aimed at improving the health of children across the country by providing access to fresh-food. Earlier this week, in the administrations FY13 budget proposal, the president proposed a total of $400 million in financing to community development financial institutions, other nonprofits, public agencies and businesses with sound strategies for addressing the healthy food needs of underserved communities.

To review key line items for children and families proposed in the president’s budget and to learn more about how a local initiative, through a partnership with state government and great state leadership, can lead to a federal budget initiative read our full issue brief.