What’s in the $1 trillion federal spending plan for LI?
WASHINGTON — Long Island will benefit from boosts in federal money for Long Island Sound, health research funding and defense contracts, as well as sustained spending on homeland security in the federal $1 trillion spending bill, local members of the House say.
Members of the Long Island delegation said they are satisfied with the legislation for its local funding and for some of its spending priorities. The House passed the bill Wednesday. The Senate must approve it by Friday to keep the government open through September.
“This bipartisan compromise spending bill will double the funding for the Long Island Sound, increase funding to the National Institute of Health . . . and help defense and aeronautics contractors,” said Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) in a statement.
The spending bill for the rest of fiscal year 2017 avoids the deep cuts that President Donald Trump proposed for next year’s appropriations, keeping open programs he targeted for elimination, such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
But the bill also funds some of Trump’s priorities, boosting spending by $19.9 billion on the military and $1.5 billion on immigration enforcement and a “virtual wall,” while decreasing money for programs and initiatives on climate change, regulatory enforcement and the IRS.
Locally, the measure doubles funding for the Long Island Sound program to $8 million, which will be used to help restore and protect beaches and waters around the sound, members of the Long Island delegation said.
It also boosts funding $2 billion to a total of $34 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which result in research grants and contracts at Cold Spring Harbor Labs and the Feinstein Institute in Manhasset, the representatives said.
Suozzi said the jump in defense spending includes $1.1 billion for 62 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, which will directly benefit both Hicksville Machine Works and Telephonics in Huntington. Suozzi said some of the $289 million funding in the Navy’s Environmental Restoration Account will go toward addressing the Bethpage Plume.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) highlighted the sustained funding for homeland security grants, and the $5 million increase in the $605 million Urban Area Security Initiative, which helps the New York City area that will go to the Non Profit Security Grant Program.
The spending bill also includes language encouraging the Energy Department to fund the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Lab, according to Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City).
Rice spokesman Coleman Lamb also flagged the inclusion of $300,000 in the short-term bill passed last week that will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to continue the Back Bays flood prevention feasibility study in Nassau County.
The spending bill’s funding for environmental programs such as the $26.7 million for the National Estuary Program and the $72.5 million for the Sea Grant could result in local funding, according to the office of Rep. Lee Zeldin. And the appropriation of $5.3 billion in the Energy Department’s Office of Sciences could benefit Brookhaven National Lab.
Zeldin’s office also said the bill restored year-round Pell Grants and raised the maximum amount to $5,920.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the bill increases funding to address the opioid and prescription drug crisis, adding $35 million to the $3.8 billion Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which gave $111 million in grants to New York in the past two years. He also said the bill adds 4 million to High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program.
Overall the 2017 spending bill slices $1.2 billion from the Education Department, $623 million from Agriculture, and smaller amounts from Labor and Commerce, according to a House summary of the legislation.
The bill funds the Environmental Protection Agency at $8.06 billion, a cut of $81.4 million, which reduces spending on research and regulatory programs.
The bill boosts funding for the departments of Justice, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services.