Sep 04 2003


Appropriations Committee Passes Commerce-Justice-State Appropriations Bill

U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations committee announced full committee passage of important projects in Alabama.

Sen. Shelby said, “The passage of this bill reiterates our commitment to funding extremely important initiatives in Alabama and across the country.”

National Fatherhood Initiative - $1.6 Million
Sen. Shelby said, "This bill provides $1.6 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."

Alabama Sentencing Commission (ASC), Simulation model of the Alabama sentenced offender population - $100,000
Sen. Shelby said, “I’m pleased to announce $100,000 for the Alabama Sentencing Commission’s (ASC), simulation model to be used to forecast the impact of policy decisions on various parts of the criminal justice system. Specifically, jail and prison populations, inmate to correctional, probation, and parole officer ratios, and community punishment program needs will be studied. This forecasting model is necessary for Alabama to realistically understand its sentencing system and the costs associated with various types of punishment. For the last 30 years, Alabama has constantly faced a problem with jail and prison overcrowding. The simulation model will be a vital tool for the ASC in its efforts to establish a fair, effective, and efficient sentencing system that best protects the safety of Alabama’s citizens, while working to eliminate overcrowding.”

National Center For Missing and Exploited Children - $20 Million
Sen. Shelby said, “The National Center has helped to locate thousands of missing children and has coordinated with law enforcement agencies throughout the nation to develop protocols for preventing child abduction and abuse. The funding they will receive will help NCMEC maintain and expand their National Resource Center and Clearinghouse, the training program provided by the Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center, the police technology project, LOCATER; expand the NetSmartz Workshop, and address other items.”

Auburn University - National Textile Center - $10 Million
Sen. Shelby said, “The National Textile Center trains textile industry engineers and scientists, and conducts state-of-the-art research projects. These activities are essential for the U.S. textile industry to maintain its global competitiveness.”

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program - $106 Million
Sen. Shelby said, “The 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.”

Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center - $150,000
Sen. Shelby said, “I’m pleased to announce $150,000 for the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center in Selma. This facility provides basic police training under the provisions of the Alabama Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Commission and in-service and advanced training for other law enforcement personnel. Theses funds will be used to perform the necessary repairs and maintenance to keep this facility in the condition that reflects the professional image important to law enforcement officers and training.”

Huntsville Teen Shelter Project - $300,000
Sen. Shelby said, “This legislation provides $300,000 for the Huntsville Teen Shelter Project to develop a 16 bed dormitory and recreation area for troubled juveniles. Runaway and homeless youth are among the highest “at-risk” groups for delinquency and for victimization by predators. The Shelter will provide a safe place for counseling, comfort, and reconciliation with family.”

University of South Alabama, Mobile Bay Oyster Recovery Program - $2 Million
Sen. Shelby said, "The University of South Alabama, in cooperation with the Alabama Department of Conservation, will use the $1 million included in this legislation to continue the work that began as a result of last year’s funding to conduct surveys and work on the reseeding program in Mobile Bay. The program will attempt to restore productive oyster reefs in areas that have experienced reef loss due to environmental and harvesting factors. A resurgence of the oyster beds will significantly impact the water quality and clarity in Mobile Bay, as well as assist the Bay in fostering survival of sea grass meadows and marine species such as blue crab, sea trouts, and some snappers and grouper."

Jefferson County Medical Examiner Upgrades - $500,000
Sen. Shelby said, “The Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner's Office is notified to investigate approximately 25% of the deaths occurring in Jefferson County. Notification is made when there is suspicion of criminal violence or criminal neglect, when death occurs in suspicious or unusual circumstances and when deaths are thought to result from trauma or violence. This funding will assist the Medical Examiner’s office in acquiring new equipment to enhance forensic capabilities and enhance the DNA identification process.”

Birmingham Educational Technology Center - $500,000
Sen. Shelby said, “These funds will provide short-term and long-term training and tutoring to help ‘at-risk’ and economically disadvantaged individuals prepare for gainful employment and further education.”

University of South Alabama - Youth Violence Prevention Research, $500,000
Sen. Shelby said, “The funding provided in this legislation will allow the University of South Alabama, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Youth Services, to conduct a research service project targeted at reducing juvenile violence and crime. The project will involve the creation and evaluation of juvenile justice programs and will focus on programs targeted toward rural areas where the largest percentage of increases in juvenile crime have occurred in recent years.”

Gulf State Consumer Education Programs - $1 Million
Sen. Shelby said, “This funding will be used for the Gulf state regulatory agencies and Gulf state non-profit business associations to implement an effective education program focusing on Vibrio Vulnificus within their respective states. The industry council has proven the ability to produce and distribute invaluable information to consumers on the concerns with oyster consumption. In working with state regulatory agencies the non-profits will be able to provide important information to educate the consumer and ensure that “at-risk” populations are properly informed and that the general public is an educated consumer.”

University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Forensic Science Institute - $1 Million
Sen. Shelby said, “These funds will be used to complete the development of a continuing education center for the Forensic Science Institute. The center will provide invaluable in-service programs for law enforcement officials and others who are practitioners in the forensic science field.”

Orange Beach Coastal and Estaurine Land Acquisition - $2 Million
Sen. Shelby said, “These funds will provide the City of Orange Beach the opportunity to acquire Robinson Island in order to preserve and protect the island’s natural habitat and resources.”

International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children - $2 Million
Sen. Shelby said, “These funds will allow the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to expand their efforts to combat child pornography.”

The Institute for American Values - $400,000
Sen. Shelby said, “The Institute for American Values will be completing three major studies including Measuring the Economic Costs of Family Breakup, the African American Family Structure Project, and the Family Law Research Project. Each of these projects study fundamental social issues in our society today.”