March 22, 2018

Van Hollen Fights for Maryland Priorities in Spending Bill

Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen announced funding for several key Maryland projects as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Van Hollen advocated for increased investments for critical programs across our state.

“There is no question that this legislation represents compromise – but it includes many hard-fought Maryland priorities that boost jobs, infrastructure, research, and education in our state,” said Senator Van Hollen. “This funding package stands in stark contrast to President Trump’s efforts to slash the programs that move Maryland and America forward and instead recognizes the need to invest in working families across the country.”

The legislation includes historic investments to fight the opioid epidemic and expands access to rural broadband. It has increased funding for every level of education, helps working families better afford child care, and expands low-income housing tax credits. It will help rebuild veterans’ facilities, as well as crumbling roads and bridges. It also makes clear that the Centers for Disease Control can engage in gun violence research.

Maryland specific projects include:

  • Full funding for the Chesapeake Bay at $73 million, language to keep the Chesapeake Bay Liaison Office in Annapolis, and authorization for the Gateways and Trails Program.
  • An additional $3 billion in funding for the National Institutes of Health – an 8.8 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2017.
  • Full funding for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority at $150 million as well as Purple Line construction under the signed Full Funding Grant Agreement.
  • Expanded investments in NASA Goddard – including $1.9 billion for Earth Science – and the 21st Century Launch program at Wallops Island.
  • Full funding for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center at Fort Detrick and the Chemical Security Analysis Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and strong investments in Maryland’s other defense and research facilities.
  • Additional funding for programs that boost economic growth, including $3 million more for the Appalachian Region Commission, $25.5 million more for the Economic Development Administration, and $5 million more for the Minority Business Development Administration.
  • The largest single-year increase in the history of the Child Care and Development Block Grant – 83 percent – with $5.2 billion total funding.
  • Expanded funding for the Community Development Block Grant at $3.24 billion, which faced elimination under the President’s budget, and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund at $250 million.
  • Funding for Army Corps projects in Maryland, including Knapps Narrows, Baltimore Harbor dredging, Poplar Island, Ocean City Harbor and Inlet, and the Cumberland Dam.
  • Clear language that the current proposal to keep the new FBI headquarters at its present location is unacceptable and will not be funded. Investments made in the consolidation project were protected but cannot be spent until GSA presents a new plan for Congressional authorization.