The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has released this statement in response to President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal:
“We are disappointed with President Trump’s budget blueprint, which calls for cuts to many of the federal programs and resources for strengthening our nation’s infrastructure and economic development.
President Trump’s recommendation to completely eliminate two community development programs, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants program, is short-sighted. TIGER has been a successful and popular program with lawmakers, communities and transportation planners like landscape architects, with the number of applications exceeding the amount of available funding.
ASLA is also concerned that President Trump’s proposal would reduce funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 31 percent, thereby crippling key air and water quality programs and critical climate change research and resources. The budget recommendation purports to increase funding for EPA’s Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds by $4 million. However, the budget also eliminates $498 million from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, and instead recommends that rural communities access EPA’s State Revolving Funds, thus leaving State Revolving Funds with a $494 million reduction in funding.
The Society recently released recommendations for updating and strengthening all forms of infrastructure, including enhancing the Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants program, expanding State Revolving Funds, increasing funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and others. Together, these recommendations will help provide communities with infrastructure upgrades to become more livable and resilient places to live, work and recreate. Unfortunately, if enacted, this Trump budget proposal would leave many communities vulnerable.
We understand that this proposal is the start of a long legislative process. The Society will continue to work with legislators to ensure that funding is available for sound infrastructure solutions that American communities are demanding.”