Thursday, April 5, 2018

Congress Passes Budget and Increases Healthy Homes Funding

Recently, Congress agreed upon a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill, allotting a substantial increase to lead and healthy home funding. This comes as a relief to activists who were concerned last month when the Trump administration proposed drastic budget cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Now, some $230 million will go toward lead hazard reduction and healthy home programs.

Under the Omnibus Bill, HUD will receive $230 million toward lead poisoning prevention - up from $145 million in last year's budget. The $230 million includes a $45 million budget that goes directly to HUD's Healthy Homes Initiative. Beyond lead poisoning prevention, HUD works to help undeserved communities with carbon monoxide exposure, fire risks, and other home hazard risks.

EPA also received level funding for their lead programs, which were originally up for elimination as proposed by the administration.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received $35 million for its Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program - an increase of $18 million from last year's budget.

A large part of the good news is owed to activists who called for more funding. These activist groups include the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, and Earthjustice.

"One thing clear in the omnibus spending bill released tonight is that Congress, heeding the outrage of millions of Americans, soundly rejected the draconian budget cuts President Trump proposed for the departments and agencies charged with protecting public health and the environment," Martin Hayden, Earthjustice Vice President of Policy and Legislation, said in a recent press release.

A great win for public and environmental health, the results of the Congressional budget can only mean good things for lead poisoning prevention.

To learn more about the omnibus, view the bill here. To learn more about lead poisoning prevention and how to get involved in this important field, visit Zack Academy's lead homepage.

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