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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced a series of provisions within the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill to provide resources and support programs with significant impacts in communities across rural Alaska. As Chairman of this subcommittee, Murkowski was able to give Alaskans a strong voice as she crafted the bill. Their input led to full funding for the Native healthcare system, support for subsistence, resources for rural health clinics, and support for the tribal justice system. The bill was approved by the full Appropriations Committee and now heads to the Senate floor for final consideration.
“This bill fulfills federal trust responsibilities that are important to the lives of Alaska Natives and sustains critical infrastructure investments in rural communities. For example, it provides support to the health clinics in Savoonga and Gambell – which face challenges unknown to most Americans, operating in such a remote and unique area of Alaska,” said Senator Murkowski. “My bill provides additional funding for basic water and much-needed sewer projects. In addition, it allows for a continuation of the subsistence lifestyle so important for our Native people. Simply put, the resources contained in this bill empower Alaska Natives and rural Alaskans to live in safe, and healthy communities.”
The bill contains the following Alaska-specific items:
The Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee controls funding levels for federal agencies and departments such as the Department of the Interior (DOI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Forest Service (FS), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and Indian Health Service (IHS). Murkowski, as Chairman, is able to write the Senate’s annual appropriations bill for the Subcommittee.