The Senate passed a bill May 4 to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year that includes funding for several key programs secured by Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons.
Coons serves on the critical Appropriations Committee that authors the annual funding bills to fund federal programs making investments in Delaware and across the country.
The annual funding bill includes:
— $320 million going to Amtrak improvements on the Northeast Corridor
— $33 million for Army Corps of Engineers for the continuation of the deepening of the Delaware River
— More than $1.3 billion on specific efforts to combat the nation’s opioid and heroin epidemic, including $103 million for evidence-based drug treatment and prevention programs and combatting the over-prescription of opioids and other prescription medications through the Department of Justice.
“This spending bill not only keeps our government open for business, but it also has tremendous benefits for hard-working families in Delaware,” Carper said. “The most important role of government is to create a nurturing environment for job creation and job preservation, and these critical federal investments in the First State will do just that."
“These are key wins for our state,” Coons said. “The investments in Amtrak and the deepening of the Delaware River mean good high-paying jobs along the East Coast that will continue to grow our middle class.”
Support for law enforcement includes:
— $22.5 million for the federal bulletproof vest program, the same as 2016, which provides funding to local and state governments for the purchase of vests that protect and save the lives of law enforcement officers.
— $403 million for the Byrne Justice Assistance Program, which provides communities across the U.S. with grants to enhance facets of their law enforcement needs, ranging from anti-drug initiatives to efforts to combat domestic violence.
Support for victims of child abuse includes $21 million to implement the Victims of Child Abuse Act authorizing Child Advocacy Centers, which serve child abuse victims and help law enforcement hold perpetrators accountable.
Support for Delaware manufacturers includes:
— $130 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, public-private partnership dedicated to providing technical support and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers.
— Continued funding for NIST’s Manufacturing USA program.
— $10 million to support the start of the Department of Defense’s new Manufacturing Engineering Grant Program, which is based on Coons’ Manufacturing Universities bill.
Support for Delaware’s small towns includes:
— Community Development and Block Grants to help communities to develop projects that meet unique housing, infrastructure and economic development needs and to support job creation.
— USDA Rural Development had Water and Waste Disposal loans maintained at $1.25 billion while general Water and Waste Disposal grants increased by $27.6 million to $392 million.
Support for Delaware’s affordable housing includes:
— The bill sustains funding for the HOME program, providing $950 million to support the production of nearly 34,000 affordable housing units and rental assistance for nearly 8,000 families in fiscal 2017.
The bill also includes $2.383 billion for homeless assistance and emergency solutions grants to improve the conditions of vulnerable individuals and families at risk of or experiencing homelessness. This level of funding is $133 million more than fiscal 2016 and includes $40 million in new resources for rapid rehousing and other critical activities to assist communities that lost significant capacity to serve homeless individuals and families in 2016.