Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tax Extenders Bill Introduced; Contains Changes to Community College Grant Program

House and Senate leaders have introduced an extenders bill that contains a number of tax-specific and other provisions, including the extension of unemployment benefits that have expired or are expected to expire. The House is expected to consider the bill tomorrow, while the Senate will take action sometime next week. The Senate will need to finish the financial services bill prior to moving to consider the extenders bill.

For community colleges, the extenders bill introduces important changes to the Community College and Career Training Grant (CCCTG) program funded by the reconciliation bill. The CCCTG program is funded at $500 million for fiscal years 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. According to the summary, the provisions included in the bill would expand the program by authorizing the grants to benefit individuals who are eligible for unemployment insurance, who are likely to be eligible for unemployment insurance (according to specific criteria), or who have exhausted their unemployment insurance. Additionally, the provisions would: (1) clarify that only public and non-profit educational institutions are eligible for grants; (2) authorize the Department of Labor to spend up to five percent of program funds to administer, evaluate, and establish reporting systems for the program; and (3) give the Department of Labor more flexibility by allowing it to obligate grant funds in the year that they are appropriated as well as the subsequent fiscal year.

The bill would also extend the deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses until the end of 2010 and extend the Build America Bonds program through 2012. The summary of the bill can viewed at:

Congress continues to work on passing a Supplemental Appropriations bill within the next couple of weeks. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) is working to get support for his bill, S. 3206 (the Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010), which will be offered on the floor as an amendment to the bill. The amendment will likely need 60 votes to pass. Meanwhile, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) stated that the committee would consider its version of the bill sometime next week. At present, it is unclear whether the base funding included in the bill will contain the $23 billion for the education jobs bill. It is very important for the education jobs bill to be included in either bill before heading to the conference committee.

No comments:

Post a Comment