Nov 16 2005

UPDATE: SHELBY SECURES FUNDING FOR IMPORTANT PROJECTS IN WEST ALABAMA

Senate Approves Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Conference Report

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS), today announced Senate approval of important projects in West Alabama included in the fiscal year 2006 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 94 - 5 and now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.

Earlier this year, Senator Shelby assumed the Chairmanship of the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee. The subcommittee's jurisdiction includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Departments of Commerce and Justice among others. Senator Shelby said, “I believe our bill strikes an important balance in funding by providing resources for all of the agencies and programs contained in this bill. Specifically, our bill includes $130 million for DNA and other forensic sciences, $28 million for specific crime lab improvements, and it restores funding for important law enforcement programs. The conference report provides $1.1 billion for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance, $477 million for COPS, $342 million for Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, $68.3 million for Methamphetamine Enforcement Programs, and $48 million for Missing Children Programs. In addition, the bill includes $283 million for the EDA, $3.9 billion for NOAA that includes $5.8M for the National Hurricane Center, and $16.5 billion for NASA.”

Tuscaloosa Downtown Revitalization - $8 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $8 million for the City of Tuscaloosa for their downtown revitalization project, which includes design, planning, and land acquisition. I am pleased our bill includes these funds so that Tuscaloosa may continue this important project.”

University of Alabama Science and Engineering Complex - $30 million

Senator Shelby said, “It is critical we provide our universities with the resources and infrastructure necessary to provide students with a first-class educational environment. These funds will allow the University of Alabama to construct a state-of-the-art science and engineering facility.”

Aliceville Prison Complex - $15 million

Senator Shelby said, “This legislation includes $15 million for site planning and further development of a medium or high security prison facility or facilities in the Aliceville, AL area.”

West Alabama Shrimp Aquaculture Program - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that our bill includes $500,000 for Auburn University to develop an inland shrimp and saltwater fish industry in the Black Belt. These funds will be used to assist farmers with the necessary information to grow and market shrimp and other fish profitably using existing water sources in the Black Belt.”

University of West Alabama Regional Center for Community and Economic Development - $350,000

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $350,000 for the Regional Center for Community and Economic Development at the University of West Alabama. I am hopeful the regional center will provide an avenue for economic development and job growth throughout West Alabama and the Black Belt.”

City of Guin - $450,000

Senator Shelby said, “The City of Guin will use the $450,000 for industrial and commercial development. We must continue to focus our efforts on infrastructure that will promote job growth and economic prosperity for our communities.”

Lamar County Commission - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that our bill includes $500,000 for economic development in Lamar County.”

University of Alabama Cultural Development Program - $150,000

Senator Shelby said, “This funding will help expand the Zelpha-Wells music education programs for economically disadvantaged children.”

University Of Alabama for the West Alabama Youth Violence Initiative - $950,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to conduct a number of studies on youth violence which will provide us with a better understanding of the programs and methods of prevention that are most effective.”

University of Alabama for the School of Law Domestic Violence Clinic - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “The clinic will provide, through its supervising attorneys and student attorneys, free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in West Alabama.”

University of West Alabama REACH Program - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that our bill includes $500,000 for the REACH program at the University of West Alabama. This program will encourage parental participation in their children’s education and decision-making process within the schools, as well as provide seminars on youth violence prevention.”

The following state and nationwide projects and programs are slated to receive funds in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006:

DNA Initiative and Forensic Sciences Funding $108.5 million for DNA initiative $28 million for specific crime lab improvements $18.5 million for Coverdell Grants $2 million Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for DNA case backlog

Senator Shelby said, “I believe this bill addresses the critical needs of our nation’s forensic labs to reduce backlogs in all areas and particularly in DNA, while providing critical flexibility to the men and women doing the work to determine their own priorities. Our bill includes significant funding for forensic sciences as a whole and particularly for the DNA initiative in an effort to eliminate the backlog in our nation’s forensics labs by dedicating $108.5 million specifically for the DNA initiative. In addition to this funding, the Committee has encouraged the Department to make use of $18.9 million that has gone unspent during fiscal year 2005 to further reduce the backlog. This bill also includes $18.5 million for the Paul Coverdell Forensics Grants. These grants have been made available to state and local forensics labs to address a variety of needs within the forensic sciences, including DNA analysis. To further that goal, the Conference Report maintains language included in the Senate passed bill that provides significant flexibility to allow State lab directors to use Coverdell dollars to address the pressing needs of their individual labs and make important decisions regarding the best use of federal resources, including DNA backlog reduction. I was also able to secure $2 million specifically for the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences’ DNA backlog reduction efforts. Finally, the bill includes $28 million for specific crime lab improvement projects."

Alabama District Attorneys Association for the Alabama Computer Forensics Laboratory - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “Computers and technology have become an integral part of crimes such as child pornography, identity theft, and terrorism. These funds will provide Alabama’s District Attorneys the tools to fully investigate and prosecute these serious crimes.”

Methamphetamine Enforcement and Clean-up - $63,406,000

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $63.4 million for State and local law-enforcement officials to combat methamphetamine production and distribution. This program will also work to target drug hot spots and remove and dispose of hazardous materials at clandestine methamphetamine labs.”

Methamphetamine Enforcement and Prosecution Programs - $4.9 million

$2.9 million - Alabama Association of District Attorneys Methamphetamine Prosecution Program
$1 million - Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for a methamphetamine program for local police departments
$1 million - Alabama Sheriffs’ Association Methamphetamine Enforcement Project

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $4.9 million for district attorneys, local police departments, and county sheriffs’ methamphetamine enforcement and prosecution programs across the state. As the epidemic of methamphetamine use continues to grow, I believe we must dedicate resources necessary to eliminate this dangerous drug.”

Missing Children Programs - $47,861,000 The following missing children programs will receive funding:

$23,930,000 for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
$2,991,300 for Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center $14,458,000 to combat internet crimes $1,496,000 for Missing Children Office within the Department of Justice
$4,986,000 for the AMBER alert program

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes this funding, as we must continue to invest resources in these programs to ensure the safety of our nation’s children.”

A Child is Missing, Inc. in Alabama - $200,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will help establish a system that will allow local law enforcement to quickly reach thousands by telephone in the event of a missing child, elderly, mentally challenged, or disabled individual.”

National Fatherhood Initiative - $3 million

Senator Shelby said, "This bill provides $3 million for the National Fatherhood Initiative. This project will study the causes and consequences of out-of-wedlock childbirth, including the impact illegitimacy has on criminal activity and welfare dependence. The funds will also be used to develop and promote pro-family practices as a solution to these problems. The Initiative's work will be conducted by a consortium which includes the National Fatherhood Institute and the Alabama Policy Institute."

Grant funds for Interoperability - $10 million

Senator Shelby said, “Interoperability of communication systems for all first responders must be a top priority for the nation. This bill includes $10 million for DOJ to issue grants to assist law enforcement efforts to develop integrated communication systems.”

Alabama Department of Public Safety - Feasibility study of statewide interoperability - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will allow state department of public safety the opportunity to determine the feasibility of a statewide interoperable communications system.”

Alabama Department of Public Safety system upgrades - $ 1 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will allow for upgrades of the Alabama State Trooper communications systems.”

Alabama Center for Law and Civic Education's Play by the Rules: Alabama Laws for Youth Program - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will help in the development of a national crime prevention model for teaching state-specific law to middle school students, teachers, and parents.”

Alabama Pardons and Parole Board CrimeTrax Alabama Project - $600,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to closely monitor parolees through a GPS offender tracking system.”

Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center Enterprise Law Enforcement Integration Project - $1.25 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will further the advancement and deployment of technology initiatives used to enhance and improve the Alabama Criminal Justice System and help Alabama remain at the forefront of the nation in this technology.”

Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center's ShareTECH program - $1.25 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will help to convert the current Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center into a system optimal for sharing information between the law enforcement, criminal justice, homeland security and emergency management communities.”

Alabama Department of Corrections for an electronic systems initiative - $3.4 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will allow the Department of Corrections to provide computer based training, as well as, critical data on architectural layout to better combat disruptions in the prison system.”

Alabama Department of Public Safety ABI Case Management System - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will allow the Department to develop an automated, fully integrated central repository of investigative information.”

Alabama Bureau of Investigation Shotspotter - $1 million

Senator Shelby said,"The SpotShotter Gunshot Detection and Location System assists police officers by putting them in the right spots, at the right times, to arrest the right people: criminals with guns. The system places sensors around a city and then links them with surveillance cameras. The ShotSpotter system is only triggered by gunfire and the software in the sensors commands the surveillance cameras to rotate and focus on the spot where the shot was fired. It can also trace the path and the direction of drive-by shootings, detect a gunshot from less than 10 meters to over two miles, and decipher the type of weapon used." NOAA Weather Radio Receivers - $50,000 Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that our bill includes $50,000 which will provide weather radios for 1000 Alabama schools. These radios will provide our schools with up-to-the-minute information about storm warnings and ensure that our schools are prepared in the event of a dangerous weather event.”

Hydrology Study - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $1 million for researchers at the University of Alabama, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Auburn University, Alabama A & M University, and Tuskegee University to begin in-depth hydrology research to determine whether large-scale irrigation is a viable option for the Southeast. This study will also provide critical information for both farmers and local government regarding the health of the State’s water resources.”

Inland Waterways Study - $750,000

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used to explore how transportation, particularly the use of Alabama's inland waterways, can better enable U.S. manufacturers and producers to compete for new trade opportunities. Greater use of our inland waterways for the transport of freight has the potential to reduce the number of trucks required and therefore alleviate some of the highway congestion motorists currently encounter.”

Alabama Environmental Education Center - $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “The Alabama 4-H Club Foundation provides students throughout Alabama with a learning-by-doing education program in kindergarten through 12th grade. Our bill includes $500,000 for the Alabama 4-H Environmental Education Center in Shelby County to help expand this important learning experience for students.”

Alabama Department of Archives and History - $850,000

Senator Shelby said, “The Alabama Department of Archives and History was the first state department of archives and history in the United States. I am pleased our bill includes $850,000 for the department for continued growth as the preservation of materials is necessary for understanding our history and essential to the future success of Alabama.”

Girl Scouts of America for Project Anti-Violence Education - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for a violence prevention initiative designed to assist Girl Scout Councils across the nation in establishing violence prevention and intervention projects.”

National Center for Victims of Crime INFOLINK - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “This helpline will enable victims of all types of crimes to call and receive information about 8,600 local service providers in every state in the country.”

National Citizen's Crime Prevention Campaign/McGruff - $4.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $4.5 million for the National Citizen’s Crime Prevention Campaign. This important funding will be used to provide crime prevention training and other assistance to more than 14,000 law enforcement personnel, state crime prevention leaders, and community stakeholders through conferences and on-site, tailored training.”

Constellation University Research Program - $2 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $2 million for the Constellation University Research Program, of which UAB, UAH, Tuskegee University and Auburn University are partners. The program provides critical interactions between university researchers and NASA scientist and will allow researchers from academia and the federal government to perform research and development that moves fundamental advances from scientific discovery to basic technology.

Jason Foundation - $4.85 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill includes $4.85 million for the Jason Foundation. These funds will be used to help introduce innovative instructional approaches and improve student and teacher learning outcomes in the fields of math and science in classrooms across the country.”

Big Brothers/Big Sisters Quality Growth initiative - $7 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $7 million for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Quality Growth initiative. This nationwide program will continue Big Brothers/Big Sisters’ record of commitment to ensure that at-risk children have caring adults in their lives.”

Big Brothers/Big Sisters is comprised of over 450 local agencies, eight of which are in Alabama, serving youth between the ages of five and eighteen. They serve over 225,000 children in community, school and site based mentoring programs to provide children with meaningful, mentoring relationships.

Victims of Crime Act Fund

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill maintains the Victims of Crime Act fund as it was in previous fiscal years. This ensures that important women’s shelters, children advocacy centers, and Violence Against Women’s Act related activities are maintained.”

Boys and Girls Club - $85 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $85 million for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The important programs of the Boys and Girls Clubs provide our nation's youth with a safe place to learn and grow in a fun environment.”

FBI’s “Innocent Lost” Initiative - $1.6 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will be used for the FBI’s “Innocent Lost” initiative, which addresses the growing problem of domestic child prostitution. The FBI, in coordination with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, aggressively identify, investigate, and prosecute crimes of this nature.”

Hollings’ Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program - $106 million

Senator Shelby said, “The Hollings’ Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program continues to be a success story by partnering federal, state, public and private entities in order to assist small and mid-sized American manufacturers modernize so that they may compete in the global marketplace.”

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) - $477 million

Senator Shelby said, “The COPS grant program aims to help law enforcement agencies implement and enhance community policing. COPS funding helps law enforcement agencies across America meet an ever-increasing range of challenges with community policing. Many police departments in Alabama have taken advantage of these grants, and I am pleased we included these funds in our bill.”

State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grants - $1.1 billion

Senator Shelby said, “The State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance grants is a partnership among federal, state and local governments to create safer communities. I am pleased that over $1 billion has been included in our bill for this important program.”

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention - $342 million

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased our bill provides $342 million for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). OJJDP provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP supports states and communities in their efforts to develop and implement effective and coordinated prevention and intervention programs and to improve the juvenile justice system so that it protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and provides treatment and rehabilitative services tailored to the needs of juveniles and their families.”

Economic Development Administration - $283 million

Senator Shelby, “The Economic Development Administration provides grants to local governments and non-profit agencies for public works, planning and other projects designed to facilitate economic development. I am pleased that within these funds includes $13 million for trade adjustment assistance.”

Regional Information Sharing System - $40 million

Senator Shelby said, “The Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) Program is composed of six regional centers that share intelligence and coordinate efforts against criminal networks that operate in many locations across jurisdictional lines. Typical targets of RISS activities are drug trafficking, terrorism, violent crime, cybercrime, gang activity, and organized criminal activities.”

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) - $112 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $100 million in funding for EPSCoR within the National Science Foundation and another $12.2 million within NASA to strengthen research and education throughout Alabama and other states across the country and to broaden the research base of the Nation.”