February 19, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

What’s Proposed for Our Federal Budget

The White House has released its proposed 2019 budget: Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget. We’re breaking down some keys areas of importance to Michigan philanthropy in the $4.4 trillion budget proposal. Congress is responsible for developing the budget therefore Michigan’s legislators will be deliberating the budget in the coming months. The proposal as it stands now is expected to add $7 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.


  • $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment. The plan shares that it would use existing funding from programs that would be closed to leverage $200 billion in federal spending and need to generate $1.3 trillion of investment from private firms, state and local government.

  • $100 billion to support Incentive Grants aimed at encouraging state, local and private investments in infrastructure.

  • $50 billion for the Rural Formula Funds program which would be made available to states through a formula distribution as well as performance-based on the states achieving goals through their rural infrastructure plans.

In Michigan: About 39 percent of our roads are in poor condition and many of our community water systems were built 50 to 100 years ago. Our state’s infrastructure investment gap exceeds $60 billion over the next 20 years.

Food Assistance

  • Funding would be reduced by more than 30 percent over a decade for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and reformat the program, adding employment requirements for “able-bodied adults.” NPR reports, instead of the current program where SNAP beneficiaries can utilize money loaded on to their EBT card to purchase items that fall under guidelines, the proposal would “get about half their benefits in the form of a USDA Foods package” which would not include fresh fruits or vegetables.

In Michigan: Nearly one in seven Michigan residents receives SNAP benefits. Through the current system that utilizes EBT cards, families and individuals can participate in Double Up Food Bucks, developed by the Fair Food Network and supported by more than 25 CMF members. The program matches $1 for $1 on SNAP dollars spent on fresh produce at farmers markets, produce stands and grocery stores to ensure Michigan communities have access to healthy food. It’s unclear if proposed changes in the budget could affect how SNAP dollars are spent.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • A 34 percent decrease in funding for the EPA from the current level.

  • A reduction in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) from $300 million to $30 million.

In Michigan: The EPA calls the GLRI “the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades.” The GLRI, which receives bipartisan support in Congress, is aimed at ensuring a healthy future for our lakes and protecting them from pollution, invasive species and other environmental threats. Senator Debbie Stabenow’s office shares that data shows “more than 700,000 Michigan jobs, one in five in the state, are tied to water.”  

Health Care

  • Reduce Medicare spending by $554 billion over 10 years. The Pew Charitable Trusts shares that Medicaid is the largest federal grant to states, accounting for 67 percent of total grant funding in 2017.

  • The budget calls for repealing and replacing the ACA and reforming Medicaid financing. The budget says President Donald Trump is also in favor of repealing the Medicaid expansion available under the ACA, saying the Medicaid expansion has cost more than expected.

In Michigan: The Healthy Michigan Plan, available through the Medicaid expansion under the ACA, provides more than 677,000 low income residents access to health care. It has added economic activity that generates $150 million in state tax revenue annually. The Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation (CHRT), a nonprofit and nonpartisan impact organization, says this revenue offset nearly all of the state’s share of Medicaid expansion costs in 2017. Read our previous coverage of the Healthy Michigan Plan.

Opioid Epidemic

  • $5 billion in new funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) over the next 5 years, focused on abuse prevention and connecting people with treatment and recovery services.

  • $625 million for states to respond to the crisis

  • $100 million in funding for a media campaign and first responder access to overdose reversal drugs

In Michigan: Our state has seen the number of overdose deaths increase more than 17 times. In 2016, 2,335 people died of drug overdoses. That’s more deaths than those which resulted from car crashes. CMF’s Health Funders Affinity Group has shared education around this issue and learning opportunities as we recognize this is a critical issue in our communities. CMF members joined together in a collaborative funding effort which is ongoing to support prevention and support services to Michigan residents.

Census 2020

  • $3.8 billion for the U.S. Census Bureau to fund investments in information technology and field infrastructure.

In Michigan: CMF joined with nearly 100 organizations across the U.S. in late 2017 calling on Congress to support the president’s requests for additional funding for Census 2020, to support adequate planning and an accurate and equitable count. Michigan stands to lose an estimated $1,800 of federal funds per year for every person who isn’t counted in Census 2020.  

Here’s a look at a few of the programs facing elimination in the current proposal and the services they provide to Michigan:

  • The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
    • The CNCS invests more than $30 million in Michigan.

    • The mission of the CNCS is to mobilize volunteers, provide disaster services, build economic opportunities, provide leadership and resources to strengthen the charitable sector and more, through its programs such as: AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund and the Volunteer Generation Fund.

  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
    • The NEA is a federal agency, with 40 percent of its funds going to arts agencies in states across the country including the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA).

    • The NEA provides equitable access to the arts and Michigan nonprofits, local agencies, as arts and culture groups have successfully competed to secure NEA funding for initiatives that benefit Michigan communities.

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
    •  The NEH provides grants to cultural institutions, such as museums, libraries, colleges and universities, public television and radio stations to facilitate research and strengthen learning opportunities. The NEH focuses on history, ethics, reflecting diverse heritage, traditions and more.

    • The NEH is the primary funder of the Michigan Humanities Council (MHC), which is vital to providing quality cultural programming to help people build and deepen an understanding of each other, connect people and communities in Michigan.

These are the same programs that were slated for elimination in last year’s budget proposal, but they received bipartisan support in the final version passed by lawmakers.

The 2019 budget proposal is now under consideration by Congress.

Want more?

Check out the budget proposal.







College Attainment: How’s MI Doing?

We’re getting an inside look at college attainment and post-secondary training completion data from the Lumina Foundation’s new interactive tool, A Stronger Nation: Learning Beyond High School Builds American Talent.

Due to the changing workforce and need for a strong talent pipeline, the Lumina Foundation has a goal to see 60 percent of Americans with college degrees, workforce certificates or other high-quality credentials by 2025.

However, the new report shows the current state of those with such degrees and credentials in the U.S. is at 46.9 percent, an improvement of 9 percent since 2008 but it still reflects more work is needed.

The Michigan data

Breaking it down demographically:

  • Asian and Pacific Islanders are the only race/ethnicity that are well above the national average in attainment in our state, nearing 75 percent.
  • Whites are at the national average.
  • Attainment rates for African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians in Michigan are all near 25 percent.

“Educational opportunity – particularly attainment of credentials beyond high school – is key to reducing economic and social inequality,” the report states, noting that while there has been progress since 2008 disparities still exist.

There are efforts underway across Michigan from our state and local governments, businesses and foundations to provide better access and opportunities to college and post-secondary training.

CMF members are passionately working in this area and it would be impossible to capture all of the successful strategies they’re utilizing but here are a few recent highlights from members:

  • The Complete Your Degree (CYD) program, recently launched by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County with support from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, places “an emphasis on providing life needs support, well above the normal tuition, books and supplies, for non-traditional students, young adults and working-class families to enable them to complete a college degree or training program in skilled trades.” According to the community foundation, the additional funding available through the CYD program may cover short-term expenses such as transportation, food, medical care, daycare, and even housing.  

  • The Flint Promise scholarship, supported in part by the Consumers Energy Foundation, officially launches its first-ever application process on March 1. The last-dollar scholarship model will cover all remaining costs for a Flint student to earn an associate degree or certificate from Mott Community College. Once completed, recipients are automatically eligible to attend the University of Michigan-Flint and extend the scholarship. The Community Foundation of Greater Flint helped to lead the initiative with input from a stakeholder group.

  • In Detroit, The Jamie and Denise Jacob Family Foundation and the McGregor Fund recently hosted a Post-Secondary Success peer network breakfast for organizations in the Detroit area which support first-generation students to and through college and/or into jobs. The group included nonprofits, high schools and colleges, who gathered for this inaugural learning community to discuss what’s working and next steps.

  • Kellogg Community College, (the foundation arm is a CMF member), recently announced a new initiative that’s aimed at connecting teens and adults to workforce training, especially in technical skills. It’s supported by a grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation and will focus on “serving vulnerable neighborhoods and people of color, who historically have been marginalized and endured higher rates of unemployment and socioeconomic distress.”

The Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL) has been engaging CMF members in career and technical education (CTE) site visits to experience first-hand programs that are connecting Michigan residents with workforce training.

Save the date to join OFL for another CTE site visit on April 13 in Alpena, more details coming soon.

Want more?

Check out A Stronger Nation: Learning Beyond High School Builds American Talent.

View the Michigan data.

Connect with CMF’s P-20 Education Affinity Group.

Dive into MLive’s county by county database of high school and college attainment data.






Welcoming All

Our state’s network of inclusive communities and partners is growing. Wayne County commissioners recently passed a resolution for the county to officially become a Welcoming County for immigrants.

The county is the latest to partner with Welcoming Michigan, which is a project of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center that’s supported by the Ford Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and a chapter of Welcoming America.

This partnership connects Wayne County with the national network, making the county one of only 14 counties in the Welcoming America network in the U.S. and the fourth county in Michigan, alongside Macomb, Kalamazoo and Washtenaw counties.

In total, our state has 19 cities and counties participating in Welcoming America, the highest number in the U.S.

Wayne County shared in a press release that through these efforts “the county will engage both U.S. and foreign-born residents in creating a welcoming atmosphere while building relationships that foster mutual respect among longtime residents and newcomers.”

The county also noted its commitment to “communicating messages of unity and shared values while working to improve inclusion and access to government for all people.”

“We can stand united with members of this community who have come from all over the world, to invest their time, their effort, their hopes and their dreams into this community,” Ahmad Abuznaid, director, National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), which is located in Wayne County, said.

CMF member the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), ACCESS, is part of NNAAC.

Michigan data at a glance:

Michigan’s Welcoming Cities and Counties that are part of the Welcoming America Network work in cross-sector partnerships and collaborations to create inclusive policies, whether that’s removing barriers for an entrepreneur to start a business or ensuring government documents are accessible in multiple languages.

Welcoming America shares that the national cohort of cities and counties:

  • Plan: Bringing together government, businesses, nonprofits, and stakeholders, they work together to create a welcoming community climate that supports long-term integration.

  • Commit: Cities and counties commit to leverage strategies ensuring the ongoing inclusion and long-term economic and social integration of newcomers.

  • Build Community: Ensure that newcomers and long-time residents find common ground and shared leadership.

  • Communicate: Share messages of unity and shared values through the media, local leaders and the community.

  • Sustain: They consider and build policies and practices to ensure interactions between new and long-time residents remain positive ones and the community’s economic vitality remains strong.

Wayne County said these efforts will be part of a larger diversity and inclusion effort, “which will focus on telling Wayne County's diversity story and raising awareness about the social, cultural and economic benefits of inclusion.”

Want more?

Connect with Welcoming Michigan.

Check out additional resources from Welcoming America.








The Pokagon Fund makes commitment to support trail from Michigan to Chicago

Content excerpted from WNDU-TV. Read the full article here.

The Pokagon Fund, a CMF member, has committed $300,000 towards the development of a proposed trail that would connect Michigan to Chicago.

It’s the first major donation for the project.

The Marquette Greenway Trail will stretch over 50 miles from downtown Chicago along the lakeshore to New Buffalo.

The trail would go through 15 different communities and each community has committees working to help fund their portion of the trail.

The steering committee in charge of the New Buffalo portion hopes to have their four-mile long portion of the trail done by the year 2020.

They say it will improve their quality of life.

“This trail will help connect our neighboring communities to downtown New Buffalo in a really accessible way,” Heather Gradowski, a member of the steering committee in New Buffalo said. “It'll promote healthy lifestyles; and altogether, it'll make New Buffalo a better place to live, work, and play.”

“Someday, you'll be able to ride your bike from downtown Chicago to New Buffalo, throw your bike on the Amtrak, and ride back home,” Gradowski added. “I can't think of a better way to come and experience our community.”

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