Jul 11 2006

SHELBY SECURES FUNDING FOR IMPORTANT PROJECTS IN BIRMINGHAM AREA

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee (CJS), today announced subcommittee approval of a number of important projects in the Birmingham area included in the fiscal year 2007 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill. Following today’s action by the subcommittee, this bill will now go to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Senator Shelby said, “This legislation includes a number of important projects in Alabama and across the nation. The subcommittee’s action on this bill reiterates our commitment to funding these projects and advancing important nationwide initiatives.”

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 (DOC) and Justice (DOJ), among others.

Senator Shelby said, “I believe our bill strikes an important balance between the competing priorities of law enforcement, terrorism, research, and strengthening US competitiveness through investment in science. Specifically, our bill includes $193.5 million for DNA and other forensic sciences, including $175.5 million for DNA backlogs and $18 million for Paul Coverdale Forensic Grants. It restores funding for important law enforcement programs. The bill includes $810 million for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance of which $555 million is for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, $537.6 million for COPS, $300.2 million for Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, $85 million for Methamphetamine Enforcement Programs, $50.533 million for Missing Children Programs, and $390 million for Violence Against Women Programs. In addition, the bill includes $280.4 million for EDA, $4.4 billion for NOAA, and $16.7 billion for NASA.”

University of Alabama at Birmingham Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Facility - $20 million

Senator Shelby said, “UAB has emerged as one of our nation’s premier research institutions. Cutting-edge facilities are critical to the recruitment of top-tier faculty, students and researchers. The funding provided will allow for the construction of another new state-of-the art facility. This facility will play a major role in UAB attaining its goal of being a top 10 recipient of NIH grants.”

Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force - $5 million

Senator Shelby said, “The Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force (RFTF) will be headquartered in Birmingham with sub-offices in Montgomery, Huntsville, and Mobile, Alabama as well as Jackson and Oxford, Mississippi. The purpose of RFTF, which operates under the United States Marshals Service, is to combine the efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to locate and apprehend the most dangerous fugitives and assist in high profile investigations. This funding represents a $2 million increase over the President’s request, and will help state, local, and other law enforcement to get the ‘worst of the worst’ violent fugitives in the Gulf.”

Red Mountain Park Development Project - $1 million

Senator Shelby said, “Red Mountain Park is a proposed 1,108 acre recreation and greenway area located in Jefferson County. The general public will be able to enjoy walking trails, biking, horse-back riding and recreational fields. The goal of this project is to meet the needs of a growing community and to allow area residents a location for outdoor activities close to the city.”

Central Alabama Women’s Business Center - $300,000

Senator Shelby said, “Central Alabama Women’s Business Center is an important part of the Birmingham area and provides a great service to our women-owned businesses. This funding will allow the Center to continue their work and cultivate even more successful business ventures in the community.”

Small Business Institute of Commerce - $ 250,000

The Small Business Institute of Commerce will partner with area colleges, universities and other organizations to encourage economic development, increase employment, and reduce business failure in Alabama. The Institute will support and fund organizations that will provide workforce training.

Senator Shelby said, “Small businesses are the work-horse of our nation’s economy. The Institute’s work will help improve these businesses, allowing them to create more jobs and improve the economy of our state.”

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) - $538 million

The bill includes critical funding for the law enforcement community to upgrade technology, such as in car computers, cameras, and communications systems. The funding will also assist in law enforcement efforts by bolstering the forensic capabilities. The following grants will assist state and local law enforcement in their ability to protect and serve their communities. The bill instructs the Department of Justice to provide priority consideration for the following projects during the grant process:

City of Calera, Law Enforcement Technology Improvements

City of Gadsden, Law Enforcement Technology Upgrades

St. Clair County Commission, Law Enforcement Interoperable Security Network Upgrade

City of Jasper, Police Department Improvement

Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, Northeast Alabama Regional Mobile Data System

Senator Shelby said, “The COPS grant program aims to help law enforcement agencies implement and enhance community policing. COPS funding assists law enforcement agencies across the country meet an ever-increasing range of challenges. The $538 million provided in our bill will allow police departments throughout Alabama to take advantage of these grants and increase their enforcement efforts to become more efficient and effective.”

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Programs - $ 300.2 million

The bill provides funding for important at-risk youth programs and research. The following grants will provide youth programs the funds necessary to work with at-risk juveniles and provide them with alternatives to delinquency. The bill instructs the Department of Justice to provide priority consideration for the following projects during the grant process:

Jefferson County Commission, Mentoring and Education Program

Jefferson County Commission, Youth Academy Program Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation, Inc., Community Outreach Program

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Communities and Schools Together

Senator Shelby said, "We must continue to work with our nation's young people to provide them with the tools and training they need to become contributing members of society. These programs provide our youth with critical alternatives to crime and mischief.”

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program - $555 Million

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) provides funding for law enforcement to implement programs and projects that prevent and control crime based on their own needs. The bill instructs the Department of Justice to provide priority consideration for the following projects during the grant process:

Etowah County EMA, Visual Intelligence Tool for Emergency Personnel in Alabama Urban Areas Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Integrated Law Enforcement Records Management System Phase II

Senator Shelby said, “Byrne grants are key to local law enforcement efforts because they give the control directly to our crime fighters. I firmly believe that those individuals serving on the front lines of our communities each day, know best what their departments need to successfully do their jobs.”

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

Crew Launch Vehicle - $837 million and Crew Exploration Vehicle - $895 million

Senator Shelby said, “As we prepare to retire the Shuttle in 2010, the groundwork must be laid for the Nation’s next manned exploration vehicles. The bill provides $837 million for the Crew Launch vehicle and $895 million for the Crew Exploration Vehicle. This investment will allow for the development of our next generation of manned spacecraft that will return man to the moon.”

NOAA Weather Radio Receivers - $200,000

Senator Shelby said, “It is important that our schools are able to stay abreast of bad weather conditions. Our bill includes $200,000 to provide weather radios for 1000 Alabama schools. These radios will ensure that our schools are able to receive up-to-the-minute information about storm warnings to be sure that they are aware and prepared in the event of a dangerous weather event.”

Drought Research Study - $2 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $2 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 Alabama’s water resources.”

Alabama GIS Base Mapping Project - $2 million

Senator Shelby said, “Accurate, high resolution GIS mapping of Alabama will allow state and local agencies to better plan and prepare for emergency within the state. The project will allow emergency managers and community planners to utilize the most up-to-date maps available when developing evacuation plans, traffic patterns, or community development.”

Alabama Environmental Education Center - $500,000

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

Alabama Department of Archives and History - $400,000

Senator Shelby said, “The Alabama Department of Archives and History was the first State Department of Archives and History in the United States. The preservation of materials is essential to a better understanding of our history and the department’s ability to continue to grow. More importantly the expansion will allow current and future generations to explore important documents.”

Alabama Small Business Institute of Commerce - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “The Alabama Small Business Institute of Commerce works hand-in-hand with universities and other organizations across the state to encourage economic development, increase employment and reduce business failure. Business education and workforce training play a critical role in a successful small business. Small businesses represent a significant portion of our State economy and we must continue to support them in every way possible.”

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) - $538 million

The bill includes critical funding for the law enforcement community to upgrade technology, such as in car computers, cameras, and communications systems. The funding will also assist in law enforcement efforts by bolstering the forensic capabilities. The following grants will assist state and local law enforcement in their ability to protect and serve their communities. The bill instructs the Department of Justice to provide priority consideration for the following projects during the grant process:

Alabama Department of Public Safety, ADPS Digital In-Car Video System

Alabama Department of Public Safety and Integrity Unit, ADPS Law Enforcement Integrity Program Alabama Department of Forensics, Forensic Science Laboratory

Troy University, Computer Forensic Laboratory University of Alabama at Birmingham, Forensic Sciences Laboratory

Senator Shelby said, “The COPS grant program aims to help law enforcement agencies implement and enhance community policing. COPS funding assists law enforcement agencies across the country meet an ever-increasing range of challenges. The $538 million provided in our bill will allow police departments throughout Alabama to take advantage of these grants and increase their enforcement efforts to become more efficient and effective.”

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Programs - $ 300.2 million

The bill provides funding for important at-risk youth programs and research. The following grants will provide youth programs the funds necessary to work with at-risk juveniles and provide them with alternatives to delinquency. The bill instructs the Department of Justice to provide priority consideration for the following projects during the grant process:

Council on Substance Abuse, Community Prevention Intervention for Youth

Senator Shelby said, "We must continue to work with our nation=s young people to provide them with the tools and training they need to become contributing members of society. These programs provide our youth with critical alternatives to crime and mischief.”

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program - $555 Million

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG) provides funding for law enforcement to implement programs and projects that prevent and control crime based on their own needs. The bill instructs the Department of Justice to provide priority consideration for the following projects during the grant process:

Alabama Administrative Office of the Courts - Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, Department of Corrections- Records Management System Revision

Alabama Administrative Office of the Courts, Criminal Justice Integration - Judicial Phase Alabama Department of Corrections, Electronic Training and Security Tools

Alabama District Attorney’s Association, Alabama District Attorney’s Association Domestic Abuse Prevention Program

Alabama Center for Law and Civic Education, Play by the Rules: Alabama Laws for Youth Nationalization Project

A Child Is Missing, Inc., A Child Is Missing Program in Alabama

Senator Shelby said, “Byrne grants are key to local law enforcement efforts because they give the control directly to our crime fighters. I firmly believe that those individuals serving on the front lines of our communities each day, know best what their departments need to successfully do their jobs.”

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

SEXUAL OFFENDER ELIMINATION PROGRAMS- $91 million

Marshal Service Sex Offender Apprehension Program - $16.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “The Marshal Service Sex Offender Apprehension Program will allow the Marshals Service to track down and arrest unregistered sex offenders. There are more than 100,000 unregistered sex offenders in the United States. These funds will assist in eliminating these despicable criminals from our communities and help to bring them to justice.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation Innocent Images Program - $14 million

Senator Shelby said, “These funds will provide enhanced capabilities for the Innocent Images Internet Crimes Against Children program and the Innocence Lost program which focus on the transportation of children for prostitution and other crimes. I have repeatedly said that if someone was able to buy heroin over the internet with their credit card, people would be appalled. The acts of child pornography and child prostitution are much worse and we must do everything we can to stop these horrendous acts.”

United States Attorneys - $5 million

Senator Shelby said, “Crimes against children are a plague on society and we must continue to work to eradicate them. Our bill provides the United States Attorneys $5 million to prosecute child abuse and exploitation crimes that arise due to the exponential growth in internet related exploitation cases. I believe that the key to fighting these horrific crimes is through coordination and communication between all levels of law enforcement and local communities, and the involvement of our US Attorneys will be of paramount importance to this process.”

Child Sexual Predator Elimination Grant Program- $ 55 million

Senator Shelby said, “Child Sexual Predator Elimination Grant Program is a new national initiative that will provide grants to state and local governments to locate, arrest and prosecute sexual predators. Working through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, these grants will enable state and local law enforcement entities to specifically focus on sexual predators who fail to register, sex offenders who prey upon children, and those who engage in child sexual exploitation. It is our obligation to protect our children against these crimes. We must provide the necessary resources to protect our most vulnerable citizens, children, so they will not fall victim to this despicable act. I have long supported efforts to protect our children and strongly believe that this funding will go a long way to aid in the eradication of these horrible crimes.”

DNA Initiative and Forensic Sciences Funding $175.5 million for DNA initiative

$18 million for Coverdell Grants

Senator Shelby said, “Our nation’s forensic labs have a critical need to reduce backlogs in all areas, particularly in DNA. This funding will help meet that need while providing the flexibility required for the men and women in the labs to determine their own priorities. Significant funding for forensic sciences as a whole is included in our bill, specifically $175.5 million for the DNA initiative. Also included is $18 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 bill 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.”

Methamphetamine Enforcement and Clean-up - $85 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $85 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 to remove and dispose of hazardous materials at clandestine methamphetamine labs.”

Missing and Exploited Children Programs - $50.5 million

The following missing children programs will receive funding:

$23,806,000 for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)

$2,976,000 for Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center

$15,375,000 to combat internet crimes against children

$1,488,000 for Missing Children Office within the Department of Justice

$4,960,000 for the AMBER alert program

$1,928,000 for management and administration

Senator Shelby said, “Statistics show that nearly 2000 children are reported missing each day. It is my hope that this funding will help to continue the important work being done to locate these children and return them to their loved ones. Likewise, crimes against children are a plague on our society and we must continue to work to eradicate them. Continued investment of substantial resources in these programs is critical to ensure the safety of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, children.”

Big Brothers/Big Sisters Quality Growth Initiative - $5 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $5 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, mentor relationships. Victims of Crime Act Fund Senator Shelby said, “The Victims of Crime Act Fund is maintained in our bill as 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. This important program provides a supportive and safe environment for our nation's youth to learn and grow.”

Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) – $537.6 million

Senator Shelby said, “COPS funding helps law enforcement agencies across America meet an ever-increasing range of challenges with community policing. Technology and communication upgrades help ensure law enforcement officers have the information they need while in the field.”

State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grants - $810 million

Senator Shelby said, “The State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance grants program is a partnership among federal, state and local governments to create safer communities. Over $800 million has been included in our bill for this important program, which includes $555 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants.”

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention - $ 300.2 million

Senator Shelby said, “The Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) will receive $300.2 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. It also works 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.”

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.” Pegasus Program- $5 million

Senator Shelby said, "Pegasus, a program that allows local law enforcement and first responders across the country to share information, will assist with the integration of criminal information databases. These databases will efficiently provide information, particularly helpful to rural law enforcement with limited financial and technology resources. It is my hope that this expedient sharing of information will help local law enforcement solve crimes and keep criminals off our streets."

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research - $110 million Senator Shelby said, “The bill provides $110 million for the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The funding provided will assist states within EPSCoR to establish partnerships with government, higher education and industry that provide lasting improvements in their research infrastructure. These funds will assist EPSCoR states to become more competitive in science and improve the level of science education.”

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 in modernizing their company so that they may compete in the global marketplace.” Economic Development Administration - $280.4 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. Within these funds, $15 million is included for trade adjustment assistance.”

JASON Foundation - $2.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $2.5 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.”