Congress Releases FY17 Appropriations Bill

Rachel Zinn
May 1, 2017

Update: The FY17 omnibus appropriations bill became law on May 5, 2017.

Congress is expected to vote later this week on an "omnibus" appropriations bill to fund federal government operations for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), which runs through September 30, 2017. The proposed legislation, released Sunday night, largely maintains current spending levels for workforce data.

In the proposal, funding for the Department of Labor's Workforce Data Quality Initiative (WDQI) grant remains at $6 million, but the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education get a haircut, decreasing by $2 million to a level of $33 million. The SLDS grants are administered by the Institute of Education Sciences, which overall receives $605 million, a reduction of $13 million. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics funding holds steady at $609 million, and the proposal maintains funding at $68 million for the Department of Labor's line item for labor market information and electronic tools. These levels do not include requested increases to modernize data on occupations and skills, research license portability, and create a technology platform to display customer satisfaction with federally-funded workforce services.

The Census Bureau receives a $100 million increase to assist with preparations for the 2020 census, but the omnibus funding of $1.47 billion does not include requested increases for current surveys that provide critical information about workers and the economy.

An explanatory statement contains detailed funding levels for the Departments of Labor and Education, and for the Department of Commerce, which includes the Census Bureau. 

In February, WDQC worked with several partner organizations to send a letter urging Congressional appropriators to maintain or increase funding for critical line items supporting postsecondary and workforce data.

For information on proposed appropriations for major workforce programs, read this blog from our parent organization, National Skills Coalition.