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WASHINGTON, D.C. â€“Senator Lisa Murkowski Saturday announced a number of funding priorities for Alaska addressed in the $1 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The omnibus bill, which will fund the federal government for the remainder of the 2012 Fiscal Year, now heads to President Obama for his signature. The Senator sits on six different appropriations subcommittees, and is the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.
“We need to be very critical of our spending priorities as we grapple with our nation’s debt,” said Murkowski. “But even as we tighten our belts, Alaskans deserve the basics: infrastructure, security, energy and education. This spending bill moves us in the right direction, rather than another continuing resolution that we’ve been operating off for far too long.”
Some key Alaskan provisions in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill include:
Energy and Water Projects
Denali Commission -$10.7 million is provided to the Denali Commission
Port of Anchorage –$13.7 million is provided for maintenance dredging
Civil Works Projects –Investigation, operations and maintenance of following projects:
Matanuska River Watershed – $96,000
Yakutat Harbor – $96,000
Anchorage Harbor – $13,725
Chena Lakes – $2,890,000
Dillingham – $967,000
Homer Harbor – $444,000
Inspection of Completed Works – $190,000
Ninilchik – $411,000
Nome – $1,045,000
Project Condition Surveys – $490,000
Homeland Security Funding
Coast Guard Funding– $10 billion is provided for the U.S. Coast Guard, including $3.4 billion for military pay and allowances and $18.3 million for a replacement HH-60 helicopter. USCG expects to use this funding to replace an H-60 Jayhawk lost last year in a crash in Alaska. $39 million is also provided for the ice breaker program.
Aviation security fee increase –The bill rejects a fee increase requested by President Obama that would have increased TSA’s fees that are paid when people buy airline tickets.
Firefighters -$675 million is provided for firefighter grants nationwide.
Health and Human Services
LIHEAP –$3.5 billion provided for LIHEAP block grants nationwide, an increase of $909 million from President Obama’s budget request.
Alaska Native Education Equity – $33 million is provided for Alaska Native Education Equity program.
Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions – $12.8 million is provided
Defense and Veterans Affairs
Military Personnel and Pay– 1.6% pay raise for members of the military.
C-17 replacement for Elmendorf -$225 million provided to replace the C-17 that crashed in 2010.
Fitness facility at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson -$26 million is provided
Aviation Complex at Ft. Wainwright – $57 million
Cold Weather Maritime Training Facility – $18.4 million
Dormitory at Eielson – $45 million
VA healthcare in Alaska – Language allows Alaskan veterans to use medical facilities of the Indian Health Service or tribal organizations.
National Youth ChalleNGe – $5 million is provided.
Source: Office of Senator Murkowski