There are a multitude of figures floating around about President Trump’s proposed national budget. These figures are huge and difficult to translate into Albany County residents’ daily lives.
If this budget goes through as presented, here are a few changes that might affect you and your family.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) administered locally by Salvation Army volunteers to help people with utility bills is eliminated.
All community service block grants (CSBG) are eliminated. This is the primary grant that Interfaith-Good Samaritan uses to purchase $5,000 worth of food per month to provide 4,000 meals for Albany County residents. This is only one local program that receives CSBG funds, there are many others.
Essential Air Services Assistance funds are eliminated, which might impact the ability to maintain air service out of Laramie. The Institute for Museums and Libraries is eliminated, which will result in a $900,000 loss for Wyoming’s libraries, including our own. The Corporation for National Community Services is eliminated. This means the end for AmeriCorps workers who work at Laramie’s Soup Kitchen and the Foster Grandparent programs.
Legal services for low-income people are eliminated. The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are eliminated and we lose many wonderful and informative programs that our community has long enjoyed. The Public Broadcasting Corporation is eliminated, leading to a huge loss for those who enjoy public television and public radio.
The above are just a few of the programs that are eliminated. Other local entities who will also lose funding are public schools, whose funding will be reduced by 15 percent or $9 billion while funding for private schools will increase by $250 million. After-school program dollars will be greatly reduced as will be the CHIPs funding for child healthcare of middle-income families. Even the Meals on Wheels program for senior food services will be severely crippled by funding cuts — and the list goes on.
The total reduction and/or savings represented in the budget by all of the above program’s funding does not equal the $20-$22 billion projected to complete “The Wall.” I invite others in our community to comment on how these budget cuts will affect them — and by all means please write or call your congressional representative — they are the ones who will ultimately decide the budget.