January 6, 2012
Present: Andrew McLean, Mary-Anne LaMarre, Joan McDonald, Eileen Smart, Drew Matlins, Maryalice Crofton, Joel Russ
Meeting convened at 8:30 am
Association of State Service Commission's Proposals to CNCS to mitigate appropriations cuts: As email notices have explained, the final appropriation for the FFY2012 had a moderate overall decrease for the Corporation and National Service programs. However, appropriators distributed those cuts specifically to lines that resulted in elimination of program development and training funds, disability accommodation funds, and a 20% decrease for support to state commissions. All three of the areas hit are the core operating funds for commissions including MCCS.
On January 5, ASC unveiled some proposals that would mitigate the cuts. In a teleconference it asked for support of members to send a letter outlining the proposals and further asked that states express their opinions about the proposals.
At the end of the day on January 5, Maryalice sent an email to Exec Committee members with the background on the proposals. One requests that CNCS return to the method for funding program development used for about 10 years, up through 2009 when the Serve America Act Subtitle J established PDAT and training funds as one program to support all National Service. The historic method had been to use AmeriCorps Subtitle C funds "off the top" and restrict access to AmeriCorps State/National.
The second proposal requests that CNCS act in accordance with language in the law that says the federal and state agencies (CNCS and Commissions) will share proportionately in any increases/decreases in appropriations. As the cuts stand now, there is a 20% reduction in support for Commissions and a 5% reduction for CNCS. If the cuts were shared it would be 7.8% for each. Furthermore, the appropriations language stated that states should get a minimum of $200,000 but did not require that amount to be the automatic allocation to small states. The proposal about sharing recommends cutting the current $250,000 floor by 7.8% rather than automatically going to the minimum in the funding bill.
After thorough discussion, the Executive Committee decided to support the ASC proposals and send a letter to Acting CEO Robert Velasco at CNCS expressing concern and support for the proposals. The letter is to be sent by close of business this day.
State support for MCCS: Mary-Anne reported that she has assurances from Representative Keschel that the language about general fund appropriations will be removed from the final version of the Part FF reorganization legislation. John Portela and others have been working on the state funding support issue. He reported that conversations remain very positive.
Exec committee discussed an approach to the issue which would borrow from the New Hampshire model of support, only require clarification of existing proposed language, and not involve a budget line for MCCS. The solution has strong support from everyone and it will be presented to everyone's contacts.
MCCS Budget: Worse case scenario: Maryalice had circulated a budget with all the cuts that were possible to make before policy decisions and strategic plan decisions were impacted. Executive Committee members reviewed it but felt there are too many facts missing to make decisions.
There was agreement that the board needs to revisit the task timeline for the Strategic Plan and determine what is core to responsibilities and what should be postponed until additional resources are secured. It was noted that the plan was developed before the changes in fiscal agent, state support, and other factors could be seen.
Mary-Anne asked for a chart of the redistribution of work among remaining staff. She also noted that she will be asking all task forces to complete the review of their assigned tasks for this year to make adjustments.
Krysta's return to the legislature takes care of one issue but opens up another set of problems because she was going to be trained by the State Planning Office businesss manager to pick up some of the agency accounting tasks.
January 13 agenda: There was a brief discussion of the agenda. It will be posted Monday.
Work session closed at 9:25 am.