Shaheen: Government Funding Bill a Big Win for New Hampshire and Our Fight against Heroin and Opioid AbuseDecember 16, 2015
**An additional $159 Million provided to key programs that support New Hampshire’s efforts to combat the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic**
**As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen petitioned for these increased resources to fight drug abuse in funding bill**
**Also reauthorizes and increases funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and provides funding certainty for the KC-46 at Pease, the Virginia Class Submarine, and the Beyond Yellow Ribbon program**
(Washington, DC)—Today, Congressional leaders unveiled bipartisan legislation to fund the federal government in fiscal year 2016, including many New Hampshire priorities championed by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Senator Shaheen, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee which authored the bill, secured funding for New Hampshire priorities, particularly to address the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic. The legislation provides an additional $159 million to important federal programs that assist states like New Hampshire that are on the frontlines of this crisis.
“This boost in federal funding will help states like New Hampshire stem the tide of the heroin epidemic,” said Shaheen. “Much more needs to be done on this front, but this is significant progress and shows that Congress is beginning to recognize the severity of this crisis.”
The legislation also reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which expired earlier this year. Senator Shaheen has been one of the strongest voices in Congress for renewing this program and has traveled around New Hampshire to highlight the importance of LWCF for the state’s economic growth and environmental stewardship.
“I’m tremendously relieved that LWCF will be reauthorized and can continue its valuable work preserving and protecting New Hampshire’s beautiful spaces,” said Shaheen. “It was disgraceful that Republicans in Congress allowed this program to expire, but we’ve found a path forward that gets LWCF back on its feet with the funding it needs. This is a big win for conservation, tourism and economic growth in New Hampshire.”
Shaheen advocated for, and secured, an increase in funding for economic development in the North Country through the Northern Border Regional Commission. She has also successfully secured an increase in funding for the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program at the Small Business Administration that helps small businesses in New Hampshire and across the country grow their exports.
The bill increases funding for a program that supports the New Hampshire National Guard’s Deployment Cycle Care Coordination Program (CCPNH), known as Beyond the Yellow Ribbon. CCPNH provides members of the Guard and their families with a wide range of services to help them through the difficult and stressful deployment and transition process. The program has also been instrumental in preventing suicides, providing access to mental health, preventing homelessness, and helping veterans find employment.
“New Hampshire’s Care Coordination program is doing extraordinary work helping Granite State service members and their family members who are sacrificing so much,” said Shaheen. “Providing more resources for deployment assistance reflects how important these programs are for military readiness.”
This bill also provides funding for national security programs where New Hampshire plays a critical role. It provides financial certainty for the procurement of 12 KC-46As, the next generation aerial refueling tanker scheduled to be based at Pease Air National Guard Base, and two Virginia Class Submarines. The procurement of two Virginia class submarines will help address modernization needs at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the nation’s three other public shipyards. It provides additional funding for defense systems that are partly manufactured in New Hampshire, including the F/A-18E Super Hornet and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and increases funding above the levels included in the Senate bill for Patriot Missile System modernization.
“In Congress, one of our most important responsibilities is ensuring that our service men and women receive the resources they need to defend our country,” said Shaheen. “This funding bill bolsters New Hampshire’s important role in our national security and I’m pleased that it’s headed to the President’s desk for signature.”
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), a program long-championed by Senator Shaheen, also secured an increase in funding. This program helps lower energy costs for low-income families by making energy efficiency modifications to their homes.
Summary of New Hampshire Priorities Funded in the FY16 Omnibus Appropriations Bill:
Fighting heroin and opioid abuse
It is estimated that there will be more than 400 deaths in New Hampshire this year alone due to the drug abuse epidemic. Programs funded in this budget will help first responders, health care providers, community organizations and the criminal justice system with prevention, treatment, intervention and recovery programs.
The bill includes $1.08 billion for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the largest supporter of the world’s research on drug abuse and addiction. This is a 6 percent increase over last year. It funds scientific research to address essential questions about drug abuse, including tracking emerging drug use trends, understanding how drugs work in the brain and body, and developing and testing new drug treatment and prevention approaches.
$211 million, a 21 percent increase over last year, to fund Substance Abuse Prevention programs across the country.
$2.1 billion, a $11.5 million increase over last year, to fund Substance Abuse Treatment programs across the country.
$70 million, a 250 percent increase over last year, for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help states with their prescription drug monitoring programs, and prescription drug abuse interventions.
Provides $371 million for the Diversion Control Program at the Drug Enforcement Agency, a $4 million increase from last year. The mission of DEA's Office of Diversion Control is to prevent, detect, and investigate the diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals and listed chemicals for illicit use. This program seeks to ensure an adequate and uninterrupted supply for legitimate medical, commercial, and scientific needs.
Includes $1.13 billion, an 8 percent increase over last year, to address mental health issues across the country, including the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, which provides funding to every state through a formula for comprehensive community mental health services for adults with a serious mental illness and children with serious emotional disturbances.
Provides an additional $7 million in Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant funding to the Anti-Heroin Task Forces. This program provides targeted assistance to states like New Hampshire that are dealing with the worst of the heroin crisis.
Provides $476 million for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne JAG) which supports state and local law enforcement initiatives, including counter narcotics efforts such as the NH Attorney General’s Drug Task Force. Byrne JAG-funded programs facilitate cross-governmental intelligence and information sharing on terror and criminal threats. This program is essential to addressing today’s criminal networks that cross city, state and even international boundaries.
Provides $42 million to support state and local drug courts, which offer alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders, including drug treatment programs. This is a $1 million increase over last year.
Provides $13 million for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, an increase of 18 percent over last year, which allocates resources to states for implementation and enhancement of prescription drug monitoring programs. These programs are designed to prevent and reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and aid in combating the illegal trade and diversion of controlled substances.
The bill includes $35 million for regional information sharing, an increase of 16 percent over last year. These activities enable the sharing of nationwide criminal intelligence with state, local, and other law enforcement agencies and organizations.
Paul Coverdell National Forensic Science Grant Program – Provides $13.5 million to support State police crime labs, which have been overwhelmed by the heroin epidemic. Crime labs not only support prosecution and adjudication of drug traffickers, they also assist police and undercover officers during investigations.
In addition to funding increases, Senator Shaheen helped secure the following legislative language to direct federal agencies:
- It instructs the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to review its legal authority to determine how it can better support emerging national security challenges including the heroin epidemic, international smuggling and public health threats.
- Directs the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement, investigation, and security agencies, which lead many of the federal government’s counter-narcotics efforts, to ensure that their continued use of state police crime labs do not burden state resources, and to ensure that services provided by state crime labs are fully reimbursed. It also requires the Department to report to Congress on its use of state crime labs and associated reimbursement provided.
Conservation and Economic Development
Land and Water Conservation Fund— This program is reauthorized through 2018 in this bill and funded at $450 million, an increase of 47 percent over last year.
Northern Border Regional Commission— This program is funded at $7.5 million, an increase of 50 percent over last year.
State Trade and Export Promotion – This grant program at the Small Business Administration is funded at $18 million, an increase of $600,000 over last year’s funding. The program has a successful history in New Hampshire, leading to the creation of the NH Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium and providing matching grants to small businesses to help get into overseas markets or expand current export opportunities.
New Hampshire National Guard’s Deployment Cycle Care Coordination Program (CCPNH)
Beyond Yellow Ribbon—This federal program supports New Hampshire’s very successful Care Coordination program for service members and their families, and is funded at $18 million, an increase of $3 million over last year.
New Hampshire’s role in national security
KC-46A Pegasus—This military aircraft program is fully funded at $2.35 billion for FY2016. The KC-46 is the successor to the Air Force’s current fleet of 1950’s era KC-135s. Pease Air Force Base, home to the New Hampshire Air National Guard’s 157th Air Refueling Wing, won a competitive process against 82 other installations and four other finalists to be the first Air National Guard unit to receive the next generation tanker, beginning in fiscal year 2018.
Virginia-class submarines—Procurement of two Virginia class submarines is fully funded at $3.3 billion. Shaheen has consistently advocated for investments in our Navy’s submarine fleet, which remains one of the most productive and strategically important assets for the Department of Defense.
Patriot Product Improvement—This program is funded at $89.8 million, which is $61.6 million above the levels included by the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee. This funding will provide critical upgrades to the Patriot Missile System. The Patriot system is the backbone of the nation’s ground-based air and missile defense capability, and the Army has committed to modernize the existing system, which will be deployed for another 30 years.
Weatherization Assistance Program— This program is funded at $215 million, an increase of 11 percent over last year.
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