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WASHINGTON, DC â€“ Senator Lisa Murkowski yesterday voted in support of an appropriations bill combining three separate spending bills â€“ referred to as a â€˜minibusâ€™ bill â€“ that passed the U.S. Senate, containing millions in essential supplies and services for rural Alaska. Murkowski serves on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and 6 different Appropriations Subcommittees.
Many Alaskan imperatives have been addressed through the appropriations process, including:
High Energy Cost Grants: $10 million was approved in the appropriations bill today, after the President attempted to zero out the program in his suggested budget. Historically, approximately half of the high energy cost grant funding goes to Alaska needs.
Village Safe Water: Also known as Rural Alaska Native Village Grants, the program is funded at a level of $23 million. VSW funds are used to build ‘washeterias,’ septic tanks, piped systems and holding tanks to provide potable water to a community.
Native American Housing Block Grant: $650 million in funding for housing in the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Bill that passed today. Last year, out of a similar $648 million Alaska concerns received approximately $100 million. The grant program assists Alaska Natives in developing, operating, maintaining, and supporting affordable housing for rental and homeownership housing.