WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, issued the following statement today regarding the Senate Appropriations Committee’s passage of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017 and the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017:
“From battling the drug epidemic and combating domestic violence, to investing in infrastructure and research, these two appropriations bills contain funding for programs that are vital to West Virginia,” said Senator Capito. “As we move through the appropriations process, I will continue working to ensure West Virginia’s voice is heard as our nation’s spending priorities are set.”
West Virginia priorities included in the CJS Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017:
- Provides $132 Million to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic through both enforcement and treatment.
- Devotes critical resources to combatting domestic violence and provides support to victims through sustained funding for:
- Rural domestic violence grants.
- Community teams to reduce the Sexual Assault Kit backlog (SAK).
- The Office of Violence Against Women STOP Grants and the Sexual Assault Victims Services Program.
- Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG).
- Continues support for the work of several federal agency facilities across West Virginia, including:
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms National Tracing Center in Martinsburg.
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation Criminal Justice Information Services facility in Clarksburg.
- NASA’s Independent Verification & Validation facility in Fairmont.
- Investments in the National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that benefit West Virginia facilities and institutions.
- Supports programs that have provided critical funding to West Virginia for advances in research and educational initiatives, including:
- The National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.
- NASA and the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
- The National Space Grant and Fellowship Project.
- National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program.
West Virginia priorities included in the THUD Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017:
- Allows $44 billion from the Highway Trust Fund to be spent on the Federal-aid Highways Program, consistent with the recently-enacted surface transportation authorization bill, the FAST Act.
- Supports innovative transportation projects across rural communities through increased funding of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
- Includes vital resources for low-income and rural communities by fully funding the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). In West Virginia, this program provides public improvement, affordable housing and other services while giving state and local governments a large amount of flexibility and control.
- Maintains funding for the Grants-In-Aid for Airports program, which supports airport improvement projects. This program benefits West Virginia airports through apron and taxiway rehabilitation projects, like those completed in Wood, Greenbrier and Mason Counties last year.