In Senate-Approved Spending Bill, Shaheen Bolsters Anti-Opioid Grant Funding, Mental Health Services Support for Law Enforcement & PFAS ResearchOctober 31, 2019
**Shaheen Secures More than $1 Million for Recovery Housing**
**Funding Legislation Continues Financial Relief for New England Fishermen from Costly At-Sea Monitoring Fees**
**Shaheen Includes Measure Directing Federal Agency to Prioritize Communities like NH Experiencing High Rates of Pediatric Cancer**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the lead Democrat of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, successfully secured a number of critical New Hampshire and national priorities in bipartisan funding legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2020 that passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 84-9. The Senate and the House of Representatives will now conference on final legislation. The bills will fund the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Interior and other federal agencies throughout the federal government.
“Today the Senate passed bipartisan funding legislation to respond to a number of issues that impact Granite State families and millions of Americans across the county, from boosting resources to combat the substance use disorder epidemic, to improving mental health services for our law enforcement and increasing support for domestic and sexual violence survivors. This bipartisan legislation is an example of what can and should be the rule, not the exception in Congress,” said Shaheen. “I appreciate the work of members on both sides of the aisle to prioritize these concerns, which also include urgently needed PFAS research, financial relief for New England fishermen and assistance for our maple producers. This wide-ranging bill addresses a number of New Hampshire priorities and I’ll keep working across the aisle to get it through Congress and deliver it to the President’s desk.”
New Hampshire Priorities Secured by Senator Shaheen for Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Legislation:
Critical Funding for Department of Justice Anti-Opioid Grants
Senator Shaheen procured $505 million for the Department of Justice (DOJ) anti-opioid grant programs, which is an increase of $37 million from FY19 levels. Shaheen also successfully added language to the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program for the DOJ to expand grant categories for new areas to include prevention and education programs for youth, law enforcement assisted diversion, and response teams to assist children dealing with the aftermath of opioid addiction. As the lead Democrat of the Subcommittee, Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to combat the opioid epidemic, and in the FY18 omnibus government funding bill, she helped secure the additional $3.3 billion to combat opioid addiction, including the $142 million set-aside for hardest-hit states.
As a result of the Delegation’s efforts, New Hampshire received a more than ten-fold increase in opioid treatment funding through the State Opioid Response grant program. Shaheen has also recently unveiled sweeping new substance use disorder legislation, the Turn the Tide Act, to help tackle the substance use epidemic and provide resources for Granite Staters struggling with substance use disorder. The Turn the Tide Act provides $63 billion in funding over ten years to deliver flexible treatment funding to providers, establish proven prevention programs and address the substantial workforce challenges in the treatment field.
Examine Safety of Firefighters’ Personal Equipment
Shaheen included $2 million for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) personal protective equipment research. In September, Shaheen introduced new bipartisan legislation with Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), which would take important steps to address concerns regarding firefighters’ occupational exposure to PFAS chemicals through their personal protective equipment.
Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to address PFAS exposure, and specifically, occupational exposure to the chemicals. The Senate-approved defense bill includes Shaheen’s legislation to confront occupational exposure to PFAS— the Protecting Military Firefighters from PFAS Act, as well as a ban on the Department of Defense from procuring firefighting foam that contains PFAS after October 2022. Last month, Shaheen sent a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging the agency to develop health monitoring protocols for medical care for children and adults exposed to PFAS.
Shaheen established the first-ever nationwide PFAS health impact study in the FY 2018 annual defense bill. Shaheen fought for Pease International Tradeport to be included in the study, and because of her efforts, Pease will serve as a model site for the nationwide study. The study at Pease recently kicked off and is actively seeking participants.
Highest Funding Level Ever for Violence Against Women Act Programs
For the third year in a row, Senator Shaheen successfully added the highest funding amount ever for Violence Against Women Act programs, totaling $500 million.
Grant Funding for States to Improve Mental Health Services for Law Enforcement:
Senator Shaheen worked to add $5 million for the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act, of which $3 million will be provided in grants for state and local law enforcement agencies to use for improved mental health services, training to reduce stigma of officers seeking help and programs to address handling repeated exposure to stress and trauma. Currently, federal agencies do not keep statistics regarding police suicide – this legislation would direct the Department of Justice to collect data on this critical issue and report on it.
Continued Financial Relief for New Hampshire and New England Fishermen & Bolstered Investments for NH Ocean Research and Conservation Efforts
Shaheen has repeatedly prevented the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from imposing the costly at-sea monitoring fee on Granite State fishermen, and once again secured necessary funding to prevent the burden from being imposed on fishermen. The bill includes $10.3 million to cover the observer fees, as well as $2 million for lobster research, $2.5 million for New England groundfish research and $10 million for research and monitoring of the highly-endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, including a pilot program into innovative lobster gear.
Shaheen successfully increased funding for Sea Grant by $7 million, totaling $75 million nationally. Sea Grant is a public-private partnership and collaborates with the University of New Hampshire to study marine and coastal resources and developments. Additionally, the bill includes $76.5 million for NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management Grant program, which is a $1 million increase over previous funding levels.
New Hampshire Priorities Secured by Senator Shaheen for Fiscal Year 2020 Interior and Environment Funding Legislation:
Increased Funding for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to Preserve Lands in NH & Across the Nation
Senator Shaheen successfully secured $465 million in federal funding – $30 million over previous funding levels – for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which helps preserve and maintain critical lands for national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and recreational areas across the country. Shaheen has led efforts to help secure full funding and permanent authorization for the LWCF, which has helped protect more than 2.5 million acres of land and supported tens of thousands of state and local outdoor recreation projects throughout the nation. Shaheen’s bipartisan bill to permanently reauthorize the LWCF was included in legislation that was signed into law earlier this year.
Continued Efforts to Remediate PFAS-Contaminated Sites & More Support for Efforts to Address Pediatric Cancer in New Hampshire
Senator Shaheen helped secure $20 million in additional funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help states address PFAS contamination and remediation. The funding bill also includes language authored by Shaheen that urges the EPA to expeditiously remediate Superfund sites contaminated by emerging contaminants, including PFAS. Shaheen has spearheaded efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health effects related to PFAS exposure and remediate polluted sites.
The Senate-passed defense bill includes an additional $10 million to support the PFAS health impact study she established in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), as well as her bipartisan bill with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to expedite analysis of water contaminants like PFAS.
Senator Shaheen also added measures directing the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to expand its support of Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) and direct PEHSUs to focus on outreach and education to communities impacted by pediatric cancer clusters – including New Hampshire – and states with abnormally high rates of pediatric cancer. This effort builds on prior successful efforts in the FY 2019 Interior appropriations bill, where Congress directed ATSDR to increase support for awareness and public outreach for states like New Hampshire with high rates of pediatric cancer. A report released last year from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicated that between 2003 and 2014, New Hampshire had the highest pediatric cancer rate in the country—with 205 pediatric cancer cases per 1,000,000 in the population. Following the report, Shaheen led a congressional delegation letter to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), urging the agency to focus on the potential connection of PFAS exposure and pediatric cancer.
Revitalizing America’s Forest Economy
Shaheen also secured $5 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Wood Energy Program (CWEP), a competitive grant program that aims to assist with the costs of installing high-efficiency, biomass-fueled energy systems. This is the first time this program has received funding since it was first authorized in 2008. Senator Shaheen has long advocated for America’s forests and initiatives that would survey and repurpose biomass for clean energy uses. Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) – the Community Wood Energy Innovation Act – was included in the Farm bill signed into law last year. Their bipartisan bill expands eligibility for CWEP, incentivizes investments in energy-efficient wood energy systems and supports facilities that repurpose low-grade, low-value wood that would otherwise be sent to landfills.
Support for New Hampshire Public Lands
The bill also includes language authored by Shaheen urging the U.S. Forest Service to improve coordination with state agencies and local partners to address the land management and law enforcement costs that have fallen to these local entities. While the cost of federal land management has grown substantially, much of the responsibility for daily activities on this land falls to state and local agencies. In New Hampshire, conservation officers patrol and are called upon to enforce laws and conduct search and rescue operations on more than 700,000 acres in the White Mountain National Forest. Last year, Shaheen led the New Hampshire delegation in a letter to the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service urging them to meet with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department to discuss potential funding options to cover these federal land management expenses.
New Hampshire Priorities Secured by Senator Shaheen for Fiscal Year 2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Funding Legislation:
Bolster Federal Housing Assistance Resources for Granite Staters in Recovery
Shaheen fought to boost federal support through the SUPPORT Act – procuring $25 million – which provides housing assistance for Granite Staters and Americans across the country who are in recovery from substance use disorders. Due to Shaheen’s advocacy, New Hampshire will receive up to $1.17 million.
Senator Shaheen has fought tirelessly to ensure that Granite State communities have the resources they need to battle the substance use disorder epidemic. Shaheen helped negotiate the bipartisan agreement in 2018 that outlined the two years of opioid response spending – totaling $6 billion to respond to the opioid crisis.
Empower Manufactured Housing Owners:
The funding bill also includes provisions from the Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act, Shaheen’s legislation that encourages manufactured home park owners who are interested in selling their property to sell the land to their residents, rather than another landlord or developer. Senator Shaheen inserted language expressing a Sense of Congress that the body should protect residents of manufactured home communities by encouraging owners of those properties to sell them to residents or nonprofits to own cooperatively.
More than 17 million Americans live in manufactured homes across the country, typically located in communities commonly known as “manufactured home parks.” While residents of these communities frequently own their home, they often do not own the land under their homes. This situation has led to displacement due to community closure and rising rents. Eviction or closure of manufactured home communities is very disruptive to residents.
Added Investments in Transportation and Infrastructure
Senator Shaheen helped secure a $100 million increase in federal funding for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant program (formerly known as TIGER), which is run by the Department of Transportation and supports investments in transportation infrastructure projects across the country, totaling $1 billion for FY2020. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has fought to bring federal dollars back to New Hampshire to invest in critical transportation and infrastructure projects to fix the Granite State’s roads, rails, bridges and ports. In June, Shaheen reintroduced legislation, the Strengthen and Fortify Existing (SAFE) Bridges Act, to begin to address the more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.
Prioritize Inclusion of Life-Saving Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug in Airline Emergency Medical Kits
Senator Shaheen added an amendment that expresses a Sense of Congress that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) should continue to prioritize the demands of our nation’s growing substance use epidemic and issue additional guidance to air carriers to ensure the timely inclusion of opioid reversal drugs in emergency medical kits (EMKs) carried by passenger airlines. Earlier this week, Shaheen and Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) called on the FAA to act swiftly in issuing regulations requiring the inclusion of this lifesaving medication in EMKs. The agency recently agreed that there is a need to add opioid reversal drugs like naloxone to EMKs. Shaheen led the charge in 2018, calling on the agency to issue these regulations in response to the nation’s growing substance use disorder epidemic.
New Hampshire Priorities Secured by Senator Shaheen for Fiscal Year 2020 Agriculture Funding Legislation:
Assistance for New Hampshire Maple Syrup Producers
Shaheen worked to include $6 million for the Acer Access and Development Program to help maple syrup producers increase production, strengthen conservation efforts and compete in the global maple syrup economy. This is a $2 million increase over previous funding levels. In 2018, the United States produced more than 4 million gallons of syrup, worth more than $140 million. Maple sugaring provides income to more than 350 producers in New Hampshire. The Trump administration did not include funding for the program in its budget.
Increased Aid for Rural Small Businesses and Farmers to Make Energy Efficiency Improvements
Senator Shaheen successfully boosted funding for the Rural Energy for American Program to $706 million for FY 2020, a significant increase over previous funding levels, which were $334.5 million in FY2019. The program helps farmers and small business owners in rural communities improve their energy efficiency or purchase renewable energy systems.
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