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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

CILs Receive an Increase in Federal Funding

NCIL Member at the 2011 My Medicaid Matters RallyThe National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is pleased to report to our members that the House and Senate have passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) (H J Res 117) funding the federal government through March 27, 2013, which includes an increase for Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and the Independent Living Program.

With the October 1 deadline approaching, Congress sent a bill to the President that increases spending by about 0.6 percent. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law before the new fiscal year begins next Monday. This is the first funding increase that CILs have seen in some time, modest as it may be.

Over the past few years Centers across the U.S. have braced for decreases in funding whenever appropriations bills are considered, and have typically viewed remaining level-funded as a success. Although NCIL and Centers across the country are pleased with the new funding increase, it should be noted that CILs were not specifically targeted, and the spending increase is temporary and can change again in March of 2013. 

For these reasons, NCIL is encouraging our members to not grow complacent, and continue taking action to advocate for increased funding for CILs. Congress and the Administration need to know the value of Centers, and how much money they save the federal and state governments every year. See a fact sheet documenting the social and fiscal contributions made by Centers (PDF or Word).

This new CR, while celebrated as a victory, should not be taken for more than it is worth. This temporary measure will likely translate into less than two thousand dollars for each Center, and organizations that save taxpayer dollars and enable independence and freedom for people with disabilities deserve much more of an investment.

After the elections are wrapped up in November, NCIL will rally our members to make the case for increased funds in Congress and in the President’s fiscal year 2014 budget. The value of Centers to the government and taxpayers is undeniable, the math is on our side, and the argument is in our favor. However we must make this case together, and we look forward to working with you in the coming months to demand meaningful investment for Independent Living in America.

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