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SHERROD BROWN HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANT PROVISIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS BILL

BROWN HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANT PROVISIONS OF APPROPRIATIONS BILL THAT WILL BENEFIT NORTHWEST OHIO

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today supported the year-end appropriations bill and tax extenders bill, which include several provisions that will benefit northwest Ohio.

“This bill makes long-overdue investments our state needs to create jobs and support economic growth,” said Brown. “Because of our hard work throughout the year, we got a good deal for Ohio’s working families. Those investments, along with the tax extenders package, will provide for families and businesses in Northwest Ohio with the certainty they need to plan for the future.

Brown secured several northwest Ohio priorities, which are outlined below.

Lake Erie

The spending bill includes $300 million in funding to help protect Lake Erie from harmful algal blooms, restore habitats, and improve water quality by funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). The bill also includes language Brown drafted prohibiting open-lake disposal of dredged material into Lake Erie. It also provides $3.7 million in new federal funds for Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) to continue construction on a first-of-its-kind offshore wind project in Lake Erie.

Toledo Courthouse

The bill includes funding for the construction of an annex and for renovations of the James M. Ashley and Thomas W. L. Ashley United States Courthouse in Toledo. In October, Brown wrote a letter to President Obama, requesting that he include this funding in his FY 2017 budget request.

Lima Joint Systems Manufacturing Center

The bill includes approximately $508 million in funding for the Abrams Tank and approximately $1.1 billion for the Stryker Vehicle – critical work is done on both vehicles at Lima’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center. Brown supported the President’s budget request for both Abrams and Stryker and wrote a letter to leaders of the Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees in May in support of increasing the lethality of Stryker combat vehicles..

Helping Communities Update Their Water and Sewer Systems

The bill includes $1.394 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and $863 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF), federal-state partnerships that help ensure that local water sources are protected from pollution. These SRF program allows state governments to provide communities with financial assistance, including loans and grants, to build or update water and sewer systems.
Prescription Drug Abuse

The bill provides $7 million to fund anti-heroin task forces within the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.  Competitive grants will be awarded for drug enforcement, including investigations and activities related to stopping the distribution of heroin or unlawful diversion and distribution of prescription opioids. The bill also provides funding for Justice Department grant programs available to state and local governments for residential drug treatment ($12 million), prescription drug monitoring ($13 million), drug courts ($42 million), and the CDC’s state-based efforts program.

Blight Relief

The appropriations bill will allow the U.S. Treasury Department to transfer $2 billion from the Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP) to the more targeted Hardest Hit Fund (HHF). Those funds would then be distributed to states with current contracts, including Ohio, that apply for additional funding for foreclosure mitigation and blight demolition programs. Since 2010, the fund has awarded more than $570 million to Ohio.

Lead-Based Paint Monitoring and Removal

The bill includes funding for critical federal programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The CDC’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program is the only federal program that provides funding for states and local health departments to conduct surveillance of where, how, and when children are exposed to lead will receive $17 million. HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes helps protect children from health and safety hazards related to lead-based paint and other home hazards. It will receive $110 million for this program.

Manufacturing Hubs

The National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) – created by Brown’s legislation last year – will receive $25 million through the year-end appropriations bill to establish more manufacturing centers and support coordination activities. It also includes $70 million for five Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.

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