WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, yesterday voted in favor of the FY2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill, which invests in programs to combat drug abuse, foster economic development and promote small business growth in West Virginia.

This is the 12th and final appropriations bill to be approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee this year, marking the first time since 2009 that all 12 appropriations bills have been approved by the committee. The bills are now ready for consideration by the full Senate.

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I take my role in determining our nation’s spending priorities very seriously. I am proud of the work we have done to pass these 12 bipartisan measures and get the Senate working again,” said Senator Capito. “Even in this tight fiscal environment, the scope of this final appropriations bill includes key West Virginia priorities, like investing in programs that help combat West Virginia’s drug crisis, decreasing burdensome regulations facing our financial system and promoting small business growth.”

The FY2016 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill includes the following West Virginia priorities:

  • The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program receives $245 million in the bill. HIDTA provides critical assistance to law enforcement agencies operating in drug-trafficking areas throughout the country. There are 18 counties in West Virginia in the HIDTA Program. 
  • The Drug Free Communities (DFC) Program receives $93.5 million in the bill to provide grants to community organizations, aiming to reduce youth substance abuse at the local level. 
  • The Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which is located in Parkersburg and employs more than 1,800 federal workers, receives $356 million in the bill.
  • There are 19 Small Business Development Centers in West Virginia working to foster job creation and economic development by helping small businesses with services such as business plan development, manufacturing assistance, financial packaging and lending support. The national Small Business Development Centers program receives $115 million in this bill. 
  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax assistance to low-income individuals, persons with disabilities and the elderly. A significant number of taxpayers in West Virginia fall into one of these categories. This bill invests $12 million in the program.
  • The bill also incorporates the Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, which would decrease burdensome regulations on the financial system. From banks and credit unions to small businesses and homeowners throughout West Virginia, the bill seeks to cut back overregulation that is hampering growth and investment in West Virginia. 

Click here to learn more about the bill and its other provisions.