Murkowski Scores Wins for Public Safety, Fisheries, and Victims Services
Thursday, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, scored wins for Alaska in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) and Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Bills, which were approved by the committee, and now will advance to the full Senate for consideration. In the CJS bill, Murkowski secured wins for Alaska’s public safety, fisheries and oceans research, and victim services. In the FSGG bill, she secured wins for Native-owned businesses, illegal drug prevention, and Alaskan taxpayers.
The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 2024 also passed the full committee with a vote of 29-0. The committee previously approved the FY24 appropriations bills for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Agriculture and Rural Development. With today’s full committee markup, five appropriations bills are on their way to the Senate floor for full consideration.
In addition to wins supporting and improving ongoing federal programs, Senator Murkowski secured funding for 30 FY24 congressionally directed spending (CDS) requests through the CJS, FSGG accounts, resulting in $63.93 million in investments for public safety, fisheries research, and victim support services, entrepreneurship and small business owners, healthcare innovation, and Alaska’s historical and arts communities.
“These additional appropriations bills continue the significant investments in Alaska that will make a difference in the safety of our communities, our oceans research capabilities, abilities to provide support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault while also supporting Native-owned businesses and Alaskan taxpayers,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski.“The appropriations process is a powerful tool to allow Congress to fund our government, while also using the opportunity to direct investments back to our states. From supplying the Soldotna Police Department with new emergency care equipment, enhancing the research efforts of Alaska Fish and Game to study freshwater salmon habitat, supporting victim services organizations—these federal investments will help support communities across Alaska.”
FY24 CJS and FSGG Appropriations Bills Highlights:
Strengthening Alaska Fisheries and Oceans Research
Alaska’s oceans and fisheries are the heartbeat of communities across the state—and that’s why Senator Murkowski worked hard to include provisions throughout the CJS appropriations bill that will strengthen our blue economy, support coastal communities, promote electronic monitoring development and installation, and enhance research abilities to create healthier fisheries. Senator Murkowski helped secure more than $205 million for Fisheries Data Collections, Surveys, and Assessments, $44 million for Regional Fishery Management Councils and Fisheries Commissions, and $65 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery fund.
Senator Murkowski also secured the following CDS requests to strengthen Alaska’s fisheries and oceans research abilities:
- Statewide: $4 million to the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation to conduct research on Bristol Bay red king crab enhancement, including optimum rearing conditions, habitat, growth, and survival through rearing stages and post release.
- Statewide: $2.01 million for the Marine Exchange of Alaska to create a user guide to keep ships safely sailing in the Arctic.
- Statewide: $1.2 million for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to fund coastal marine surveys that support sustainable salmon management in the northern Bering Sea, southern Bering Sea, and western Gulf of Alaska.
- Statewide: $2.5 million to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to better equip Alaska Department of Fish and Game research vessels with necessary technology and upgrades.
- Statewide: $520,000 for the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association to train Fisheries Technicians to further develop their capabilities in salmon research, project implementation and administration.
- North Slope Borough: $1.5 million to support the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management in estimating the abundance of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort stock of bowhead whales.
- Statewide: $2.8 million for the University of Alaska System to research the impacts of environmental stressors on freshwater and marine aquatic life in Alaska.
- Anchorage: $106,000 for the University of Alaska System to research alternative methods of energy consumption reduction in kelp and seaweed drying processes.
- Annette Islands Reserve: $403,000 for the Metlakatla Indian Community for fish hatchery improvements.
- Statewide: $4 million for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to research freshwater and marine juvenile salmon habitat.
- Annette Islands Reserve: $1 million for the Metlakatla Indian Community to monitor, survey, and trap European green crab in Southeast Alaska.
- North Slope Borough: $1.5 million for the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management To support the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management in estimating the abundance of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort stock of bowhead whales.
Investing in Alaska’s Public Safety and Health
Working with advocates in the state to address the issue of violence, Senator Murkowski worked to include funding for the Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors (STOP) Violence Against Women Program at $255 million. She worked with Tribal leaders to fund the Special Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction at $15 million.
Senator Murkowski’s funded FY24 CDS requests that invest in Alaska’s public safety efforts include:
- Anchorage: $227,000 for the Anchorage Police Department to provide a Special Weapons and Tactics command response vehicle for the Anchorage Police Department.
- Fairbanks: $2.2 million for the Fairbanks Emergency Communication Center to upgrade the Alaska Land Mobile Radio system.
- Juneau: $2 million for the City and Borough of Juneau to upgrade their first responder radio communications system.
- Soldotna: $110,000 for the Soldotna Police Department to supply emergency care equipment.
- Statewide: $4 million for heavy equipment to support rural maintenance needs
- Haines: $5 million for the Haines Community Safety and Training Center.
- Northwest Arctic Borough: $2.6 million for the Northwest Arctic Borough Public Safety, Fire, and Rescue Facilities.
- Craig: $4.1 million for the Craig Firehall and EMS Building Construction.
Supporting Victim Services Efforts in Alaska
Senator Murkowski continues to focus on preventing domestic violence and sexual assault in Alaska and providing critical services for victims. From including funding for the Sexual Assault Services Program at $80 million, to advocating for increases to the Services for Rural Victims program—Senator Murkowski is working to provide significant support for victims in Alaska.
- Statewide: $4 million for the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault to support victim services organizations.
Supporting Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Alaska
Senator Murkowski continues to work hard to support Alaska’s small business owners and those who aspire to make a positive difference in our state, including by continued advocacy for ensuring that Alaskan subcontractors don’t have to have a brick and mortar place of business in every tiny community where they may be doing work. Senator Murkowski’s funded FY24 CDS Requests to support Alaska small businesses and entrepreneurs include:
- Statewide: $1 million for the University of Alaska System’s Alaska Native Entrepreneurship Program.
- Southeast: $350,000 to expand the Ketchikan Indian Community’s State Small Business Credit Initiative Program.
Fighting Illegal Drug Use
Illegal drugs have devastated families and communities throughout Alaska. Senator Murkowski will continue to support drug prevention efforts and support for those impacted by this terrible scourge. Her efforts include supporting the Community Based Coalition Enhancement Grant Program, which will encourage community-led coalitions to raise awareness on the rise of fentanyl and prevent drug overdose deaths caused by the drug.
- Statewide: Senator Murkowski continues to support efforts like the Drug Free Communities Program and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program.
Supporting Alaska’s History and Arts Communities
Senator Murkowski funded FY24 CDS Requests that support both the arts and the humanities in Alaska include:
- Statewide: $1.5 million for the University of Alaska System to preserve rare and unique films with historical footage of Alaska and oral histories.
- Statewide: $10 million to the Alaska Leaders Archive, Inc. to Create an archive of the collections of Alaskan leaders who helped shape our state and to develop a research and academic center leading the study and discourse on leadership in business and public policy.
- Statewide: 1.5 million to the University of Alaska Anchorage to install shelving and enhance space for federal and other records related to Alaska lands and resource development.
- Statewide: $295,000 to the Alaska Native Arts Foundation to establish a directory of Native artists, their craft, and their works that is easily available and accessible to the public.
Improving Healthcare in Alaska
Senator Murkowski’s funded FY24 CDS Requests to support and improve healthcare in Alaska include:
- Statewide: $1.512 million to Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RuralCAP) for the Community Action Resource Center.
- Statewide: $2 million to University of Alaska System for Alaska Healthcare Innovation.