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2018 Spending Bill


The Spending Bill's Impact on Maryland

Through the passage of the FY2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act, The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, a major source of research grants for Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland, would receive a $3 billion increase. The bill also maintains the Chesapeake Bay program's funding, despite the President's desire to cut the program. Congressman Brown also helped secure $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants, which are used heavily in cities like Baltimore. The bill also protects funding for a pair of climate science programs tied to Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt that the White House had proposed eliminating. Through this bill, Congress also agreed to extend a provision that prohibits the Justice Department from prosecuting cases in opposition to medical marijuana laws, including Maryland’s own program.The bill includes measures to strengthen the criminal background check system for gun purchases, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can now conduct research on gun violence. Congressman Brown and other Democratic lawmakers secured $3 billion in new funding to fight the nation’s opioid epidemic. The Congressman also fought for and secured $150 million for WMATA, and $2.6 billion for the Purple Line.

Key Points and Highlights:

Opioid Crisis: This bill provides $446.5 million in DOJ grant funding to help communities and law enforcement fight heroin and the illegal distribution and use of opioids and provide treatment and prevention services. This is $299.5 million higher than the fiscal year 2017 funding level.

Child care: $610 million increase for Head Start and $2.37 billion increase for Child Care and Development Block Grant program, putting CCDBG at its highest funding level in history.

School Safety: The bill provides $75 million for the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (CSSI), a program established by this Committee in fiscal year 2014 and administered by the National Institute of Justice. The CSSI aims to prevent school-based tragedies by making funding available for developing and updating school safety assessments and plans, technical assistance, training, and technology that enhances overall school safety efforts. Grants under this program must have a research component which will help us further understand the root causes of school violence, develop strategies for increasing school safety, and rigorously evaluate innovative school safety strategies through pilot programs.

Infrastructure: The bill provides an additional $1.08 billion for infrastructure investments above the amounts included in the fiscal year 2017 bill including but not limited to an additional $48 million in NOAA infrastructure costs for facilities construction, aircraft procurement, and continuation of critical weather satellite and ship procurement; $280 million for the Goddard Space Flight Center; $150 million for WMATA; $2.6 billion for the Purple Line; $73 million for the Chesapeake Bay program 

Addressing Violence Against Women: The bill contains $492 million, the highest funding level ever, for grants administered by the Office on Violence Against Women. Funding is provided for multiple competitive and formula grant programs that support training for police officers and prosecutors, state domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions, rape prevention programs, lethality assessment and homicide reduction initiatives, domestic violence hotlines, and women’s shelters and transitional housing support services.

Federal Law Enforcement: The bill provides nearly $24 billion to fund the critical core national security, law enforcement, investigation, and prosecution missions of the Justice Department to protect the safety and security of our communities, and to help ensure that criminal perpetrators are brought to justice.

Economic Development: The bill includes strong funding for Department of Commerce programs that invest in our local communities, and provides $301.5 million for the Economic Development Administration. This is an increase of $25.5 million above the fiscal year 2017 funding level, and includes $117.5 million for Public Works infrastructure grants and $21 million for the Regional Innovation Program. The Minority Business Development Administration is funded at $39 million, a $5 million or 15 percent increase. These programs had been targeted for elimination by the Trump Administration.

NOAA Research, Education, and Coastal Programs: The bill provides $508 million for NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research programs, an increase of $30 million above fiscal year 2017 level, and provides $28 million for NOAA Education programs, an increase of $1 million. 

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