$154 Million in Reed-Backed Projects for RI Included in Senate Appropriations Package

 $154 Million in Reed-Backed Projects for RI Included in Senate Appropriations Package
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Reed, one of a dozen Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Chairmen, successfully includes Congressionally-directed spending for dozens of key Rhode Island projects in bill making its way through Congress;

New federal funding for local projects includes key investments for transportation, economic development, education, health care, and more as Senate Appropriations process moves forward

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Appropriations Committee posted nine of its key Fiscal Year 2022 funding bills today and over 60 projects in Rhode Island could see a combined $154.1 million in federal funds this year thanks to the advocacy and leadership of U.S. Senator Jack Reed.

In the 117th Congress, lawmakers worked on a bipartisan basis to reinstate “Community Project Funding” (also known as ‘Congressionally directed spending’ or ‘earmarks’) with added oversight and transparency mechanisms.  This enabled any member of Congress to request appropriations for local governments and non-profits by putting the request in writing with their name attached to it, publishing the request on their website, and taking other steps to ensure the request was made with community support, transparency, and accountability.

Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, and the Chairman of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, successfully advocated to include Congressionally directed spending in the appropriations package to fund numerous projects across Rhode Island.

“This slate of Appropriations bills represents a renewed commitment to getting our economy back on track and helping working families and local communities thrive.  This appropriations package makes targeted investments in strengthening our economy, improving public health and safety, upgrading our infrastructure, raising student achievement in the classroom, and funding critical scientific research.  It will help bring more jobs to Rhode Island and create new opportunities for people looking to build their careers through job training and workforce development.  And it will help protect our environment and upgrade our clean water infrastructure,” said Senator Reed.  “As COVID-19 continues to hit communities and hold back economic recovery, Congress must step up and ensure the government is working effectively for people.  It’s also about making sure that Rhode Island taxpayer dollars benefit Rhode Island. This is about delivering relief and targeted aid to cities, towns, and non-profits so they can better serve communities.”

Today, the Appropriations Committee posted its versions of several appropriations bills, including: the Fiscal Year 2022 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill; the Interior and Environment bill; the Commerce, Justice, and Science bill; the Homeland Security bill; and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill.

A number of Senator Reed’s earmark requests for community projects and priorities across Rhode Island were included, such as:

FY 22 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations: $39,782,000

•           $6.6 million for Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport Improvements, Including Cargo Services

•           $5 million for East Bay Bike Path Bridges

•           $5 million for Warwick City Hall Plaza

•           $4 million for Newport Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) Infrastructure & Resiliency

•           $3.4 million for Woonasquatucket River Greenway Design and Build Project Along the Woonasquatucket River in Providence

•           $3.2 million for the Washington Secondary Bike Path

•           $3 million for a public plaza in the City of Pawtucket’s Transit Oriented Development District

•           $2.5 million for Lead Remediation for Woonsocket bridges

•           $2.5 million for Parking Expansion at Kingston Train Station

•           $2 million to help Crossroads Rhode Island Build New Single Occupancy Residential Units for Very Low-income, Formerly Homeless Individuals

•           $1.08 million for NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley’s Neighborhood Healthy Housing, Jobs & Economic Development Initiative for Woonsocket

•           $1 million for Pavement Repairs to Centerville Road and Toll Gate Road in Warwick and West Warwick

•           $300,000 for the Knightsville Revitalization Project in Cranston to Upgrade Sidewalks and Streetscapes

•           $200,000 for the Town of Burrillville Riverwalk Replacement & New Pedestrian Bridge

FY 22 Interior and Environment Appropriations: $12,600,000

•           $3.3 million for Providence Water Lead Service Replacement

•           $3.2 million to Replace the Lincoln Avenue Water Transmission Line in Warwick

•           $1.5 million to Upgrade the Warwick Sewer Authority’s SCADA System

•           $1.35 million for the Prudence Island Water District to Upgrade Drinking Water Infrastructure

•           $1.175 million for a New Water Main to Improve System Reliability in North Smithfield

•           $775,000 for the Removal of Lead Water Service Lines in Woonsocket

•           $500,000 for Trinity Repertory Company’s Lederer Theatre Center Renovation

•           $375,000 for North Providence’s Wendell and Link Street Area Stormwater Improvements & Flood Prevention

•           $325,000 for Greenville Water District to Enhance Water Quality for Residents

•           $100,000 for the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission’s State Archeological Collections Repository

FY 22 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations: $8,036,000

•           $1.6 million for Laboratory Improvements and the Development of a Shellfish Hatchery at Roger Williams University

•           $1.375 million for the Providence Police Department to Purchase Police Vehicles and Related Equipment

•           $1.2 million for Thundermist Health Center to Provide Crisis Intervention Team Training for Police

•           $1 million for Sustainable Seafood Research at the University of Rhode Island

•           $1 million for Plastics Pollution Research at the University of Rhode Island

•           $900,000 for Providence Police Department Security Improvements

•           $300,000 for Save the Bay to Conduct Watershed Education Programs

•           $250,000 for a University of Rhode Island On-Water Center of Excellence for Teaching and Research

•           $150,000 for Providence Children’s Museum to Provide Services for At-risk Children

•           $140,000 for North Smithfield to Repair Mowry Tower, an Important Communications Hub

•           $120,000 for Tides Family Services to Provide Services for At-risk Children

FY 22 Homeland Security Appropriations bill appropriations: $75,000,000

•           $75 million for Construction of New Homeport for Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutters at Naval Station Newport

FY 22 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-H) Appropriations: $18,683,000

•           $3.7 million for Skills for Rhode Island’s Future to Expand its Youth Job Training Program

•           $3 million for the City of Pawtucket to Create a Job Training and Lifelong Learning Center

•           $1.498 million for Thundermist Health Center to Provide Clinical Care Workforce Development

•           $1.25 million for Skills for Rhode Island’s Future’s Ready.Set.Work Program to Provide Career Services and Training

•           $1.2 million for High Performance Computing Technology for the University of Rhode Island

•           $1 million for Laboratory Improvements at Roger Williams University

•           $1 million for Technology Improvements at the Community College of Rhode Island

•           $850,000 for Technology Improvements in Salve Regina’s Pell Center

•           $750,000 for the Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families to Recruit and Retain Foster Families

•           $750,000 for CODAC Behavioral Healthcare to Renovate a New Headquarters

•           $750,000 for Wood River Health Services to Renovate and Expand a Health Center

•           $500,000 for AS220 to Expand its Workforce Development and Education Programs

•           $490,000 for Rhode Island College to Establish Innovation and Leadership Certificate Programs

•           $300,000 for Higher Ground International to Provide Senior Care Services

•           $300,000 for the PACE Organization of Rhode Island to Renovate and Equip its New Health Clinic and Adult Day Care Center

•           $230,000 for DORCAS International Institute of Rhode Island to Expand its Career Services and Training Program

•           $200,000 for RI Public Health Foundation Clinic Expansion

•           $175,000 for the RI Institute for Labor Studies and Research’s Pathway to Teaching Project

•           $140,000 for the Providence Preservation Society to Provide Workforce Training

•           $100,000 for Career Services and Training at Newport Community School

•           $100,000 for the Audubon Society to Provide Environmental Education and Teacher Professional Development

•           $100,000 for the Block Island Maritime Institute to Provide Environmental Education

•           $100,000 for Project GOAL to Expand Academic Enrichment Programs

•           $100,000 for Information Technology Upgrades at the Groden Center

•           $100,000 for Newport County Community Mental Health Center to Expand its Youth Mental Health Services

“It’s important for Congress to return to a more responsible appropriations process and be transparent and accountable in providing targeted federal funding that makes a positive difference in people’s lives.  I have a constitutional duty to make spending decisions and represent the people of Rhode Island.  This Congressionally directed funding is part of that mission and will help local governments and non-profits with a variety of economic development, public health, and educational projects and priorities.  I’m pleased to work with members of the community here in Rhode Island and bipartisan leaders in the Senate to include this vital, merit-based funding.  This is a positive step toward getting these bills enacted and delivering needed funding.  I put my name on every one of these earmarks and I will continue working hard to deliver for Rhode Island,” said Senator Reed.

The bipartisan support for Congressionally directed spending includes Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Vice Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, who has repeatedly noted that elected officials, not solely bureaucrats, should determine federal spending, and proclaimed: “I support a transparent and responsible appropriations process, one in which projects can be publicly viewed, are not inserted into legislation in the dead of night and allow recipients of federal funding to be held accountable.”

In August, on a bipartisan vote of 25-5 the Appropriations Committee approved three other key spending bills: the Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (Ag) appropriations bill; the Fiscal Year 2022 Energy and Water Development (Energy & Water) appropriations bill; and the Fiscal Year 2022 Military Construction-VA (MilCon-VA) appropriations bill.  Senator Reed helped include $64.7 million for projects across Rhode Island in that package.

Both the House and Senate must pass identical versions of the final bill before it can be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

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