Jul 11 2006

SHELBY SECURES FUNDING FOR IMPORTANT PROJECTS IN NORTH ALABAMA

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 North Alabama 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.”

Space Shuttle - $4.056 billion

Senator Shelby said, "Marshall Space Flight Center has worked aggressively to safely return the Space Shuttle to flight. Their expertise has been critical to NASA’s safe return to flight. The legislation not only fully funds the Space Shuttle Program, it also fully supports the work of the Shuttle Propulsion Office at Marshall which will continue to provide ongoing support for the Shuttle program.

Marshall Space Flight Center Lunar Robotic Lander Mission - $40 million

Senator Shelby said, “This bill provides $40 million to the Marshall Space Flight Center to initiate a Lunar Robotic Lander Mission. This is a critical precursor mission for the future return of man to the Moon, and was awarded competitively to Marshall in 2005.”

Marshall Space Flight Center Crew Launch Vehicle – $837 million

Senator Shelby said, “The bill provides $837 million for the Crew Launch vehicle, based at Marshall Space Flight Center, which will allow for the development of our next generation of manned spacecraft. As we prepare to retire the Shuttle in 2010, the groundwork must be laid for the Nation’s next manned exploration vehicles and our return to the moon.”

National Center for Explosives Training and Research - $30 million

Senator Shelby said, "This legislation provides $30 million for the completion of a permanent site for the National Explosives Training and Research Facility. This facility will provide the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) a post-blast research and training facility at Redstone Arsenal. This addition will compliment the FBI=s Hazardous Devices School, as well as NASA=s research expertise. This training facility will provide federal, state, and local law enforcement one-stop training for explosives. The co-location of these agencies will create a training and research component at Redstone that exists no where else in the world."

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 capture the “worst of the worst” violent fugitives in the region.”

FBI National Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (RCFL) - $28 million

Senator Shelby said, “Our bill includes $28 million for the FBI to build a Super Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory at Redstone Arsenal, which will expand and enhance the FBI’s investigative forensic processes capability as it relates to digital evidence. This facility will greatly enhance the FBI’s ability to forensically investigate child exploitation issues.”

FBI Forensic Science Training Academy - $30.4 million

Senator Shelby said, “This academy will assist the FBI in its ability to train its international, federal, state and local law enforcement partners in forensic sciences. The FBI currently lacks the necessary infrastructure capacity to assist law enforcement with these critical crime solving skills. Once the facility is built on the Redstone Arsenal, it will provide training to all levels of law enforcement which will greatly increase cooperation in the law enforcement community. This will have a significant impact of the ability to fight violent crimes, drugs, and terrorism.”

Climate Research at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) - $2 million

Senator Shelby said, A UAH’s research in global climate change provides policy makers and the public with the most up?to?date and sound science available. As the debate regarding global warming continues, it is crucial that arguments on this matter be based on sound science. UAH is squarely involved in the international global warming debate, having pioneered the production of satellite?based global temperature products which have been incorporated into the highest levels of national and international reports."

NOAA/NASA Severe Storm Research and Development - $2.5 million

Senator Shelby said, “We have learned all too well over the last two years how quickly the weather can change our lives. The University of Alabama in Huntsville is uniquely placed to collaborate with NASA and NOAA assets to provide the public with a better understanding of severe weather.”

Remote Sensing Center - $2.5 million Senator Shelby said, "These funds will establish a NOAA Center at UAH for advancing our knowledge and understanding of the environment through the use of information and remote sensing technologies, both on the ground and based in space."

SURA Coastal Ocean Observing System - $5 million

Senator Shelby said, "Included in our bill is $5 million for the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) Coastal Ocean Observing System. The goal of this program, of which UAH is a participant, is to implement a system to provide comprehensive, real-time access to observational data and numerical forecasts of coastal hazards and threats, as well as phenomena of routine interest to a host of operational stakeholders.@

City of Guntersville Revitalization - $250,000

Senator Shelby said, “The City of Guntersville will enhance their downtown area through improvements to the streetscape, lighting, and infrastructure rehabilitation. These utility improvements will encourage growth in the downtown area and improve the overall economy of Guntersville.”

Huntsville Museum of Art – $500,000

Senator Shelby said, “This funding will allow the museum to expand to include a children’s gallery and a 300-seat auditorium for educational programs. As the Huntsville area prepares for a significant jump in residents in the next few years due to BRAC decisions, improvements to the cultural, social, and educational programs are important to retaining these citizens and leading to further economic development in North Alabama.”

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 Huntsville Police Department, Huntsville Police Department in Car Video System

City of Red Bay, Bay COPS Technology Grant Madison County Communications

District, Interoperable Communications System City of Athens, Law Enforcement Technology Upgrade

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:

Madison County Commission, Shining Star Leadership Program

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:

City of Madison, Domestic Violence Program

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.”

Economic Development Administration - $251 million

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) provides grants to local governments and non-profit agencies for public works, planning, and other projects designed to facilitate economic development. The bill instructs the Department of Commerce to provide priority consideration of the following projects during the grant process:

Town of Bridgeport for Commercial Development

Alabama A&M University Community Development Program

Hartselle Industrial Park Infrastructure

Senator Shelby said, “It is critical that our communities have the infrastructure necessary in place to attract new businesses and residents.”

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.”