NCAI Releases Analysis of President's FY 2016 Budget Request

Published on Feb 06, 2015

Washington, DC- On Wednesday, February 4th, NCAI released an analysis of the President’s fiscal year 2016 budget, which highlighted the impact on funding for Indian programs. The budget proposes an overall an increase of 12 percent for BIA over the FY 2015 enacted level, the largest increase in more than a decade (excluding Recovery Act funding) and a 9 percent increase for the Indian Health Service.
Overall, several proposals in the FY 2016 budget request would improve the federal government’s fulfillment of treaty and trust responsibilities in the federal budget, proposals which should benefit from bipartisan support. NCAI and tribal leaders will continue to work with Appropriators and members in both the House and Senate to underscore the importance of strengthened investments in direct services to tribes and funding for programs administered by tribes.
President Brian Cladoosby responded to the fiscal year 2016 budget release with, “Indian Country strongly supports the several increases that recognize the treaty and trust responsibilities, with the goal of parity in governmental resources for tribes. Tribes also strongly support the proposal to make BIA and IHS contract support costs mandatory, which tribes have called for in tribal consultation over many years.”
Highlights of FY 2016 President’s budget include:
•             Mandatory Contract Support Costs: The FY2016 budget includes a legislative proposal to reclassify contract support costs as permanent funding beginning in FY 2017.
•             Native Youth: The creation of Generation Indigenous, which is a comprehensive multi-agency initiative to help improve the lives of and opportunities for Native youth in multiple areas such as broadband access and college and career-readiness.
•             Tiwahe (Family) Initiative, a comprehensive and integrated approach to address the inter-related problems of poverty, violence, and substance abuse faced by Indian communities, The FY16 budget would provide $15 million to expand the Tiwahe Initiative, $6 million more for Social Services, $4 million more for law enforcement for alternatives to incarceration, and $5 million more for aid to tribal family courts.
•             Public Safety: The budget includes $417.4 million for the Department of Justice (DOJ) public safety initiatives in Indian Country, which is a $102 million increase.
•             Tribal Behavioral Health Grant (TBHG) increases. The TBHG would receive an additional $25 million as part of Generation Indigenous. With the expansion of the TBHG program, SAMHSA aims to reduce substance use and the suicide among Native youth and address conditions which impact learning in BIE schools.
•             Indian Education funding would increase for Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), expanding broadband for BIE schools, and scholarships and higher education.
As Congress makes decisions as a part of the appropriations process in the coming weeks and months, NCAI urges law-makers to support parity in governmental and program funding as well as promote Indian self-determination to achieve the vision of broader progress in Indian Country. Read the full budget analysis here.
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