Courtney-Requested Projects and Eastern Connecticut Priorities Included in House Appropriations Bills
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) and the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 4502, a legislative package containing the majority of appropriations bills for FY 2022. The federal budget negotiation process begins each year in the House, and includes twelve total appropriations bills. H.R. 4502 included seven separate appropriations bills: Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS); Agriculture, Rural Development and the FDA; Energy and Water Development; Financial Services and General Government; Interior and Environment; Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; and Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD). The House will vote on remaining appropriations bills in the coming days and weeks.
Passage of H.R. 4502 marks a major milestone in setting the federal budget for FY 2022. The bill includes targeted support that Rep. Courtney secured for important local projects throughout eastern Connecticut, and House passage brings it closer to becoming law. The bill also includes support that Courtney worked to secure for nationwide federal programs that will strengthen eastern Connecticut’s workforce, improve our local schools, bolster community health, and more.
“The House is putting together an FY 2022 budget package that’s going to help our towns and our local economy come back even stronger,” said Congressman Courtney. “After putting our heads together with local leaders in town government and the non-profit sector, we scored some wins in the House’s 2022 budget that will provide direct support to local projects across our region—like improved health care services in the Quiet Corner and New London County, exciting new programs for students and degree-seekers, and resources to help improve and repair local infrastructure. Our budget package would also finalize funding to construct the new Putnam Readiness Center, and to support some of the nationwide federal programs that everyone from our schools, farmers, and local conservation areas rely on. This is an eastern Connecticut-focused budget, and I’ll keep working across the aisle to make it final.”
Targeted Support for Local Projects
As previously reported, the House’s FY 2022 budget includes funding Courtney secured for local projects throughout eastern Connecticut. Click here to read more. All ten of Courtney’s FY 2022 Community Project Funding Requests were authorized by the House Appropriations Committee, and today nine of those projects were officially passed in the House as part of H.R. 4502. Courtney’s final project request will be voted on soon. His project requests included in H.R. 4502 will:
- Purchase fluoroscopy equipment that will improve patient care and services at Day Kimball Hospital in Putnam, CT ($540,000—LHHS)
- Support Groton Public Schools programming connecting students to careers in locally in-demand industries ($140,000—LHHS)
- Create a new Digital Innovation Hub and STEM coursework at Mitchell College in New London ($555,000—LHHS)
- Hire two additional substance abuse recovery coaches for the New London County region at Reliance Health ($120,000—LHHS)
- Create a Pyrrhotite Remediation Program for Connecticut residents and towns impacted by the Crumbling Foundations Crisis ($2,000,000—THUD)
- Repair the historic Hockanum Textile Mill, home of the New England Motorcycle Museum, which was constructed in 1814 and needs roof repair and infrastructure stabilization ($792,000—THUD)
- Renovate the Town Hall of Scotland, CT—a 127-year-old building—to improve services, safety, and accessibility, and avoid more costly construction of a new town hall ($700,000—THUD)
- Upgrade the Enfield Train Station with dedicated commuter parking areas, a roundabout to improve station access, and new sidewalks to improve pedestrian access ($2,500,000—THUD)
- Construct a new water main in the Town of Stonington, and help ensure that the town’s water main system is fully connected to eliminate “dead ends” in the system ($1,952,130—THUD)
Important Programs for Eastern Connecticut
H.R. 4502 would help keep America open for business in FY 2022, and would help our economy come back even stronger. In addition to funding for local projects, the bill includes support Rep. Courtney worked to secure for other eastern Connecticut priorities, and for programs that that invest in our region and support our towns, small businesses, families, and many others.
For eastern Connecticut, highlights of H.R. 4502 include provisions that would:
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
- Improve our local schools—Public schools in eastern Connecticut rely on the ESSA Title I-A as their primary source of federal education funding. Courtney pressed for robust ESSA funding next year, and the bill supports it with $36 billion in FY22 for title I-A.
- Support Magnet Schools—The bill includes $149 million for the magnet school programs next year.
- Support schools serving military families—Federal Impact Aid is important for schools in towns like Groton and Ledyard, and H.R. 4502 supports the program with a total of $1.4 billion.
- Expand affordable early-learning opportunities—H.R. 4502 would provide $7.4 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and $12.2 billion for Head Start.
- Support eastern CT’s growing workforce—Rep. Courtney has always been a leader in supporting America’s workforce, and worked to grow support for apprenticeship programs in FY22. The bill provides $11.6 billion for the Employment and Training Administration, including $285 million for Registered Apprenticeships in FY22.
- Expand education and career opportunities—H.R. 4502 includes $24.7 billion for the Pell Grant program in FY22, and includes a provision Courtney fought for to provide a $400 increase to the maximum Pell Grant award.
- Provide more resources for Community Health Centers—The bill provides $2.2 billion for Community Health Centers next year, $148 million over the FY21 level.
- Address addiction and substance abuse in our communities—The pandemic has exacerbated the nationwide struggle against addiction and substance abuse, and H.R. 4502 would provide $2.85 billion for the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Program.
Agriculture, Rural Development and the FDA
- Support research on promoting carbon sequestration—The bill includes a request supported by Rep. Courtney instructing the Economic Research Service to create a publicly available, comprehensive report on how to best incentivize carbon sequestration in soil through various management practices.
- Increase access to clean, reliable water in rural areas—H.R. 4502 includes Rep. Courtney’s request of $10 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Decentralized Water Systems Program.
- Help low-income families while supporting farmers—The bill provides $30 million to support the USDA’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The program issues coupons to eligible participants which can be used to buy healthy foods from farmers, farmers’ markets, or roadside stands approved by state agencies.
- Help local schools serve better, healthier meals—To prepare healthy meals with local produce that kids want to eat, school cafeterias need the right tools. H.R. 4502 would provide USDA with $35 million to provide School Kitchen Equipment Grants.
Energy and Water Development
- Increase funding for Connecticut and other state energy programs—The bill includes a request supported by Rep. Courtney to provide $90 million for the Department of Energy’s State Energy Program, which helps states enhance security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and more.
- Increase ability to collect detailed, real-time coastal information—H.R. 4502 includes $8.5 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Coastal Ocean Data System (CODS).
- Invest in American small businesses—The bill provides $1 billion to the Small Business Administration to help small businesses and entrepreneurs access capital and contracting opportunities.
- Preserve six-day mail delivery—The bill provides that the U.S. Postal Service shall continue a six-day mail delivery schedule, as well as the rural delivery of mail.
- Bolster election security—The bill would provide $500 million in Election Security Grants to help states protect elections.
- Support local Drug Free Communities efforts— H.R. 4502 would provide $110 million to the national Drug Free Communities Program, which has supported substance abuse prevention and response efforts in eastern Connecticut for years.
- Invest in a clean Federal vehicle fleet—H.R. 4502 would provide $300 million for the Electric Vehicle Fund to start the transition of the Federal vehicle fleet to electric and zero-emission vehicles.
Interior and Environment
- Prevent the Last Green Valley from losing ‘National Heritage Area’ status and support in 2021—Without Congressional action, the Last Green Valley is set to lose its designation as a National Heritage Area, and the financial support that comes with it. H.R. 4502 would extend all National Heritage Area authorizations for 1 year, preventing the looming expiration.
- Bolster conservation efforts for Connecticut and America’s historic trails—The bill includes a request supported by Rep. Courtney to provide $23 million in funding for the National Scenic and Historic Trail system.
- Provide new support specifically for the New England National Scenic Trail—H.R. 4502 includes Rep. Courtney’s request of $500,000 in funding specifically for the New England Scenic Trail system.
- Help conserve eastern Connecticut’s natural heritage—The bill includes Rep. Courtney’s request of $19.77 million in funding to support work at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge.
- Fund conservation efforts on the Long Island Sound—H.R. 4502 includes Rep. Courtney’s request to provide $40 million to the Long Island Sound Geographic Program in FY 2022.
- Protect Connecticut’s scenic rivers—Several waterways in eastern Connecticut, including the Eight Mile River and the Wood-Pawcatuck Watershed, are provided support through the federal Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. H.R. 4502 would provide the program with $4.9 million, the level supported by Rep. Courtney.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs
- Support construction of the new Putnam Readiness Center—H.R. 4502 fully funds President Biden’s request of $17.5 million to construct a new CT Army National Guard Readiness Center in Putnam, CT. Click here to read more.
- Increase support for veterans’ mental health services—H.R. 4502 would provide $598 million to the Veterans Health Administration for veterans suicide prevention and outreach.
- Enhance the VA’s ability to reach homeless veterans—The bill authorizes $2.2 billion for the VA’s Homeless Assistance programs.
- Improve housing for America’s servicemembers and their families—H.R. 4502 would provide $1.4 billion to improve housing on military installations, including family housing and barracks.
- Improve VA facilities for veterans and their families—The bill would help rebuild and retrofit VA facilities with $2.2 billion for VA Construction.
- Improve childcare centers for American servicemembers—H.R. 4502 would support increased capacity and better facilities for the 1.2 million children of active duty servicemembers worldwide with $213 million for Child Development Centers.
Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD)
- Support the popular Community Development Block Grant Program—Towns across eastern Connecticut rely on CDBG funding to improve communities, and to address the crumbling foundations crisis. The bill funds the CDBG program with $3.7 billion in FY 2022.
- Invest in America’s manufacturing workforce, and promote national security—H.R. 4502 would provide $20 million to the Small Shipyard Grant Program. Small shipyard are a critical component of U.S. maritime operations, and the program is designed to help them make capital investments, provide workforce training, and more.
- Reinvest in America’s maritime capabilities—The bill provides $315.6 million for continued support of the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) program. The vessel has long been a top priority of Rep. Courtney and the Seapower Subcommittee.
- Support our local maritime academies, and promote maritime security—The bill authorizes $318 million for the Maritime Security Program, and $6 million in funding for direct payments to state maritime academies.
- Provide resources to the Amtrak Northeast Corridor—H.R. 4502 authorizes $1.2 billion for the Amtrak Northeast Corridor
- Improve America’s rail systems—H.R. 4502 would provide $500 million for the Consolidated Rail Safety Improvements program. This program funds projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail
For more information on H.R. 4502, click here.