Senate Passes Bipartisan Funding Bills that Includes Resources Secured by Shaheen for New Hampshire

August 01, 2018

**Provides funding for housing, conservation, and infrastructure eliminated or underfunded by the Trump administration budget proposal **

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Appropriations committee, issued the following statement after appropriations legislation that includes key New Hampshire priorities passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

“This legislation includes substantial support for New Hampshire, and I am pleased to see it pass the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support,” said Shaheen. “This legislation assists communities across New Hampshire by protecting housing for victims of domestic violence and families that rely on housing choice vouchers, safeguarding our wildlife and natural resources, and supporting critical investment in our nation’s infrastructure. These provisions are important to Granite State communities, and I will continue to work across the aisle to ensure that these measures are signed into law.”

SHAHEEN PRIORITIES INCLUDED IN THE FY 2019 APPROPRIATIONS LEGISLATION:

Protecting Housing for Domestic Violence Victims

The funding package includes Shaheen’s amendment requiring the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to issue a report on efforts made by the Department to ensure that survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault are not evicted or denied housing based on their status as survivors.

Senator Shaheen has been a fierce advocate for survivors of domestic violence, leading efforts in Congress to safeguard the Office on Violence Against Women and programs operated under the Violence Against Women Act. In 2016, President Obama signed Shaheen’s landmark legislation into law, establishing new rights for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Last year, Senator Shaheen led the bipartisan effort to reintroduce the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA), which would ensure combatting gender-based violence around the world remains a top diplomatic and development priority for the United States.

Safeguarding the Land and Water Conservation Fund

The bill includes $425 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and $65.5 million for the Forest Legacy Program. The Trump Administration proposed budget eliminated funding for the Forest Legacy Program and severely underfunded LWCF.  Shaheen has led efforts to help secure full funding and permanent authorization for 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.

Addressing Contamination from PFAS

The funding package includes Shaheen’s legislation that directs EPA to expeditiously remediate Superfund sites contaminated by emerging contaminants, like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and provide technical assistance and support to States and Tribes during the remedial cleanup process. The bill includes Shaheen’s legislation on the delayed PFAS reports from ATSDR, which the agency recently released.

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to uncover the potential health impact of emerging contaminants in water supplies, and in the 2018 NDAA, established the first-ever nationwide health study on the impacts of PFAS in drinking water, as well as funding for the study in the government funding bill that was signed into law in March. Shaheen also included specific language in the bill to streamline the process of transferring funds from the Department of Defense to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which is carrying out the study. Because of Shaheen’s efforts, the Pease International Tradeport will serve as the model site for the nationwide PFAS health study.

Bolstering New Hampshire’s Water Infrastructure

The bill includes $1.69 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $1.16 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. Last week, the delegation announced that NH received more than $11 million through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

Funding American Infrastructure

The appropriations bill provides funding for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) formula programs at the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act authorized level of $46 billion – a $1.03 billion increase over FY18. It also provides an additional $3.3 billion in general fund appropriations above FAST Act authorization, including $2.4 billion in FHWA formula funds to be used on road and bridge projects and $800 million for a new bridge repair and replacement program. The additional formula funds would bring in an additional $10 million to New Hampshire.

Protecting Affordable Housing

The legislation includes $22.8 billion for the Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) program. This will ensure that all existing vouchers in circulation will be renewed in the coming fiscal year, including approximately 9,500 in New Hampshire that rely on this program for housing.

Preserving Community Development Block Grants

The bill also allocates $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), providing critical funding to New Hampshire communities to expand housing and economic opportunities, principally for low-and-moderate-income individuals. New Hampshire has received $12.5 million in awards from this program in 2018. The Trump Administration’s proposed budget would have eliminated this program.

Supporting New Hampshire’s Maple Sugar Industry

The funding bill also provides $4 million for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants to support the maple industry, and prevents the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from requiring single ingredient syrups like maple syrup or honey from being labeled as containing added sugar.