Schumer, Gillibrand say ‘major victories’ in federal funding bill
Press Release, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced major victories that will greatly help Upstate New York in the bipartisan federal funding bill.
The senators said these victories will boost the economy and support vital programs, including funding for the opioid prevention, Great Lake Restoration Initiative (GLRI), funding HOME/CDBG Program, critical railroad safety programs, support for education and higher-education and much more. Schumer and Gillibrand provided statements for several major areas in which the budget will be a major boost for Upstate New Yorkers.
The bill includes the following victories for Upstate New York:
Opioid & Prescription Drug Prevention & Treatment Programs
“For too long, heroin and opioid use, fatal overdoses, and drug-related crimes have been on the rise, plaguing Upstate New York communities,” said Senator Schumer.
“Too many lives have been destroyed, too many families have been torn apart, and too many communities all over New York are suffering because of the opioid epidemic,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This is a public health crisis, and our communities need more funding and resources to combat and help address substance abuse.”
Specifically, the agreement provides a $3.3 billion increase over last year’s funding levels for efforts throughout government departments and agencies to combat the opioids and mental health crises, including more than $2.8 billion in increases for treatment, prevention, and research for programs within the Department of Health and Human Services. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will get a $1.4 billion increase over last year; SAMHSA leads our nation’s treatment efforts to address the opioid and heroin crisis gripping communities throughout New York and the rest of the nation. In each of the last two fiscal years, New York received more than $111 million from SAMHSA block grants.
Additionally, the agreement funds nearly a $2 billion increase over last year’s levels for programs beyond SAMHSA in efforts through several departments and agencies specifically targeted to attack the opioid/heroin crisis.
$300 million more for Department of Justice initiatives including interdiction, enforcement, drug and mental health courts, and treatment programs;
$350 million more for the Centers for Disease Control for preventing prescription drug overdoses;
$500 million more in NIH funding for targeted research on opioid addiction within the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA);
$415 million more to the Health Resources & Services Administration, which promotes health care in underserved communities and oversees Community Health Centers. There are 65 CHCs in New York, serving nearly 2 million patients in 2015 and employing more than 15,000 New Yorkers; and
$61 million more to the Department of Veterans Affairs for additional funding for treatment and prevention ($434.6 million total).
HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)/ Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
“CDBG funding is the very cornerstone of Upstate economic development efforts and community revitalization, so it was critical that we fought and won to provide substantial resources via this vital program all across Upstate New York,” Schumer said. “Investing in strong neighborhoods is an important victory to help economic development efforts in Upstate neighborhoods by providing homeownership, rental assistance, and housing rehabilitation funds. We were able to secure $1.36 billion for HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) funding and $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.”
Great Lake Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Funding
“I am very pleased to announce new federal funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “The Great Lakes are some of New York’s most treasured resources, and this important program helps ensure that we can continue to restore and preserve the Great Lakes watershed for years to come. I will always fight in the Senate to protect our Great Lakes, and I was proud to fight to make sure this funding was included in the omnibus bill.”
Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
“This bill contains an important victory for updating New York’s aging water infrastructure and job creation: we secured $1.694 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $1.163 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund,” Schumer said. “This represents a $600 million increase in our water infrastructure.”
Firefighter Assistance Grants
“This funding for the Firefighter Assistance Grants will help ensure that fire departments across New York have the training, equipment, and staffing they need to serve their communities safely and efficiently,” Gillibrand said. “Firefighters risk their lives to keep us safe, and I will always support programs that provide them with the necessary resources they need to keep them and our communities safe.”
“To create the vibrant Upstate New York economy of tomorrow that creates and sustains the jobs of the future, we must invest in high-speed internet networks today, so that every Upstate home, school or small businesses gets – and stays – connected,” Schumer said. “With this multimillion-dollar investment, rural communities across New York state will finally have the resources needed to close the digital divide. These investments will create jobs, expand minds and build a strong base for future economic growth in New York state and beyond.”
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
“LIHEAP is a lifeline for over one million New Yorkers, including many seniors living on a fixed income, veterans, and low-income families who struggle to pay their heating bills in the winter,” said Gillibrand. “No New Yorker should have to choose between staying warm in the frigid cold and paying rent or putting food on their table, and I’m proud to have fought for these critical home energy assistance funds in the omnibus.”