January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 21

Reauthorizing Programs
in the Farm Bill
Every five years, Congress aims to pass a version of the
farm bill, legislation that authorizes federal programs
at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). With
the previous farm bill passed in 2018, Congress is set to
take on this priority in 2023.
The most important of these programs for park and
recreation professionals is the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP). In past farm bills, Democrats
have been supportive of maintaining current levels
or increasing funding to SNAP, and Republicans have
occasionally made efforts to cut the program, leading
to gridlock in the negotiation process.
Recognizing their slim majority in the House and minority
in the Senate, key Republicans on the House Agriculture
Committee - the committee responsible for
crafting the legislation - have already indicated they
are not likely to attempt major changes to nutrition programs
in this year's farm bill and prefer to carry out an
efficient and bipartisan process from the start.
Continuing to Implement the
Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed in November
2021, provides the largest investment in our nation's
infrastructure in decades. The most significant piece of
this legislation for parks and recreation is the bill's tripling
of funding to the Clean Water State Revolving
Fund - the largest amount of federal funding allocated
toward green infrastructure.
Now in the second year of the bill's implementation,
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Congress
remain focused on how to maximize the benefits
of this investment and may enact tweaks to program
guidance in the 118th Congress.
Implementing the Inflation Reduction Act
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, is
the most comprehensive climate bill in U.S. history. While
much of the legislation's impact comes through changes
in Internal Revenue Service code to enact climate-related
tax incentives, the bill also provides grant funding that
park and recreation departments can take advantage of.
This includes $1.5 billion to USDA to fund urban forestry
projects, $1.8 billion to the Department of Transportation
to fund active transportation infrastructure, and $3 billion
to EPA to fund air pollution mitigation efforts, including
projects that address the urban heat island effect.
Federal agencies
will be implementing first-year
funding to these programs in 2023. House Republicans
are primed to conduct heavy oversight over the bill's
programs, and some have indicated a desire to strip
the bill's provisions that they see as federal overreach.
Without a majority in the Senate, however, it is unlikely
that these efforts will be very successful.
Another important variable that will dictate Congress'
activities over the next two years is the looming presence
of the 2024 Presidential Election. With top candidates already
emerging, congressional leaders in both parties will
be angling to get legislative and political wins that make
their party's candidates look good and the other party's
look bad. Fortunately for park and recreation professionals,
our priorities are extremely bipartisan in nature, so we
are unlikely to be swept up in the political maelstrom.
Mae Stevens is Senior Vice President at Banner Public Affairs,
where she assists NRPA with legislative work.
22_003835_Parks_And_Recreation_Jan Mod: November 16, 2022 2:50 PM
Print: 11/28/22 11:53:38 AM page 1 v7
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January 2023 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2023 - Parks & Recreation

January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 1
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 2
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 3
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 4
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 21
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January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 50
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January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 54
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 55
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 56
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
January 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com