WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today supported the year-end appropriations bill and tax extenders bill, which include several provisions that will benefit northeast Ohio.
“This bill makes long-overdue investments our state needs to create jobs and support economic growth,” said Brown. “Because of our hard work throughout the year, we got a good deal for Ohio’s working families. Those investments, along with the tax extenders package, will provide families and businesses with the certainty they need to plan for the future. This bill is good news for northeast Ohio – directing resources to NASA Glenn Research Center, Lake Erie, and ensuring the safety of my Cleveland neighbors during the Republican National Convention.”
Brown secured several northeast Ohio priorities, which are outlined below.
The spending bill includes funding to help protect Lake Erie from harmful algal blooms, restore habitats, and improve water quality by funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The bill also includes language Brown drafted prohibiting open-lake disposal of dredged material into Lake Erie. It also provides $3.7 million in new federal funds for Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) to continue construction on a first-of-its-kind offshore wind project in Lake Erie.
Republican National Convention Security Funding
The bill includes $50 million in funding to provide needed security funding for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Brown worked to secure additional funding to support missions at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The bill includes $686.5 million for Space Technology and $640 million for Aeronautics accounts – the two funds from which NASA Glenn receives support.
The appropriations bill will allow the U.S. Treasury Department to transfer $2 billion from the Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP) to the more targeted Hardest Hit Fund (HHF). Those funds would then be distributed to states with current contracts, including Ohio, that apply for additional funding for foreclosure mitigation and blight demolition programs. Since 2010, the fund has awarded more than $570 million to Ohio.
Lead-Based Paint Monitoring and Removal
The bill includes funding for critical federal programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The CDC’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is the only federal program that provides funding for states and local health departments to conduct surveillance of where, how, and when children are exposed to lead will receive $17 million. HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes helps protect children from health and safety hazards related to lead-based paint and other home hazards. It will receive $110 million for this program.
Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education
The bill includes $295 million for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program, which supports children’s health care by providing freestanding children’s hospitals with federal funding to train pediatricians and pediatric specialists. This marks a $30 million dollar increase from fiscal year 2015. University Hospitals, Cleveland Clinic, and Akron Children’s all receive funding from this program.
The National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) – created by Brown’s legislation last year – will receive $25 million through the year-end appropriations bill to establish more manufacturing centers and support coordination activities. It also includes $70 million for five Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.
Prescription Drug Abuse
The bill provides $7 million to fund anti-heroin task forces within the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. Competitive grants will be awarded for drug enforcement, including investigations and activities related to stopping the distribution of heroin or unlawful diversion and distribution of prescription opioids. The bill also provides funding for Justice Department grant programs available to state and local governments for residential drug treatment ($12 million), prescription drug monitoring ($13 million), drug courts ($42 million), and the CDC’s state-based efforts program.