WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Appropriations Committee released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 spending bills today and U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), a senior member of the committee, successfully advocated to include $192.5 million in ‘Congressionally directed spending’ (also known as ‘earmarks’ or ‘community project funding’) in the appropriations bills to fund numerous projects across Rhode Island. 

 

Reed, who is also the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, noted there were also numerous provisions in the defense appropriations bill that will benefit Rhode Island, such as nearly $6 billion for construction of Columbia-class submarines; $6.6 billion to continue building two-per-year Virginia-class submarines; $748 million for strengthening the submarine industrial base to include supplier development and workforce development, all of which will help expand Rhode Island’s skilled submarine workforce.  The defense bill also includes $85.1 million for Navy applied research on undersea warfare technologies, led by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).

 

Senator Reed stated: “My priority is ensuring that Rhode Island gets its fair share of federal resources and these earmarks will help with specific community, infrastructure, and economic development needs.  These dedicated federal funds for Rhode Island will go directly to areas of community need, whether improving roads, feeding the hungry, enhancing public safety, or helping non-profits deliver critical care and services.  All of these earmarks are transparent, meet strict requirements, and have been requested by Rhode Island cities, towns, and organizations to address community needs.”

 

Reed continued: “If Congressional Republicans are serious about combatting inflation, they’ll work with us on a bipartisan basis to pass these bills to bring down costs for families now and in the future.  These appropriations bills help ensure the federal government works for the American people, wisely invests in things like housing affordability and improving schools, and will help combat inflation and ensure Americans can afford daily essentials.”

 

Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse and the authority to decide the amount of federal dollars spent and to direct how they are spent.

 

Overall, the nearly $1.7 trillion appropriations package includes $653 billion in non-defense discretionary spending, a 10.1 percent increase over fiscal year 2022; $850 billion in defense discretionary spending, an 8.7 percent increase over fiscal year 2022; and $118.7 billion for Veterans Affairs medical care, a 22 percent increase over fiscal year 2022.  The package also includes $21 billion in emergency supplemental funding to provide the necessary resources to prepare for the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and to address other emerging diseases that pose a significant threat to public health.

 

The federal fiscal year is slated to begin September 30, which means Congress must pass appropriations bills or a funding extension before that date in order to continue funding the federal government.

 

This is step one in a multi-step process.  Both the House and Senate must pass identical versions of final appropriations bills before they can be sent to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

 

Senator Reed secured a number of community projects and priorities in the spending bills that will benefit Rhode Island, including:

 

FY23 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (AG) Appropriations: $7,200,000

•             $5 million for Flood Mitigation in the Pocasset River Watershed Floodplain

•             $2.2 million for the Renovation and Expansion of the Warren Police Station

 

FY23 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations: $7,500,000

•             $1.66 million for Save the Bay to Build a Pipeline of Habitat Restoration Projects

•             $1.3 million for URI to Increase Aquaculture Resiliency

•             $1 million for the Providence Police Department’s Crime and Gun Violence Reduction Initiative

•             $1 million to Establish a Quantum Information Science Research Initiative at URI

•             $500,000 to Upgrade Public Safety Communications Equipment in Tiverton

•             $500,000 for the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation to Conduct Research, Gear Development, and Gear Removal

•             $490,000 for Police Equipment in Glocester

•             $375,000 for Police Vehicles and Equipment in North Smithfield

•             $200,000 for Domestic Violence Prevention and Survivor Support at the Providence Housing Authority

•             $175,000 for the Bristol Police Department to Upgrade its Mobile Command Unit

•             $150,000 to Strengthen Nonviolence Interventions

•             $120,000 for Communication Dispatch Equipment in Foster

•             $30,000 for Mobile Data Terminals for the Portsmouth Police Department

 

FY23 Energy and Water Development (Energy & Water) Appropriations: $39,209,000

•             $33.2 million for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Projects Such As: Providence River and Harbor; Little Narragansett Bay; Woonsocket Flood Control; Fox Point Barrier, Narragansett Bay; Silver Creek, Bristol; and Pawcatuck River

•             $5 million for Energy Improvements in Rhode Island Public Buildings

•             $750,000 for Energy Efficiency Upgrades at the Providence Performing Arts Center

•             $250,000 for Energy Efficiency Retrofits at Groden Network Group Residences

 

FY23 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations: $3,336,000

•             $2 million for Skills for Rhode Island’s Future to Establish a Minority/Women-owned Small Business Hub

•             $812,000 for Farm Fresh RI to Provide Marketing Assistance for Local Food Producers

•             $232,000 for the Social Enterprise Greenhouse to Provide Entrepreneurship Assistance

•             $165,000 for Enhanced Exhibit Space at Stages of Freedom

•             $127,000 for Hope & Main’s Food Business Incubator

 

FY23 Homeland Security Appropriations: $1,525,000

•             $1 million to Create an Emergency Operations Center in Glocester

•             $525,000 to Update the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center

 

FY23 Interior and Environment Appropriations: $13,840,000

•             $3.16 million for Sewer CCTV and Cleaning in Pawtucket

•             $2.5 million for the Replacement of a Water Distribution Line in Jamestown

•             $2.4 million for a New Pump Station in Warwick

•             $2.28 million for Lead Pipe Remediation in Providence

•             $1.4 million for the Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements in Warwick

•             $536,000 for Upgrades to the Apponaug Pump Station in Warwick

•             $500,000 for the Restoration of the Broad Street Synagogue

•             $500,000 for the Restoration of the Kelly House in Lincoln

•             $300,000 for a Tree Planting Program

•             $212,000 for the Providence Water Supply Board to Assess Cybersecurity Risks

 

FY23 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor H) Appropriations: $23,182,000

•             $4 million for Butler Hospital’s Short-Stay Unit

•             $2 million to Renovate and Expand Block Island Medical Center Facilities

•             $1.95 million for Salve Regina University’s Mobile Healthcare Unit

•             $1.69 million for the Environmental Science and Engineering Laboratory at Roger Williams University

•             $1.2 million for Research Facility and Equipment Improvements for the University of Rhode Island’s (URI) Pharmaceutical Development Institute

•             $1 million for High Performance Computing Equipment at URI

•             $1 million for an Early Childhood Connection Continuum at Meeting Street

•             $1 million for the Renovation and Expansion of Tri-County Community Action Agency’s Health Center

•             $1 million for the Expansion of the RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner’s Westerly Job Training Center

•             $1 million for Providence College’s School of Nursing & Health Sciences

•             $850,000 Mental Health Care Services for Children

•             $842,000 to Upgrade CODAC Behavioral Health’s Clinic

•             $803,000 for a New Labor and Delivery Unit at Women & Infants Hospital

•             $790,000 for Equipment and Programs for the RI Nursing Education Center

•             $760,000 for United Way to Improve RI’s 211 Referral System

•             $500,000 to Conduct Childcare Facilities Needs Assessments

•             $385,000 for Family Service of Rhode Island to Provide Mental Health Screening

•             $350,000 for the RI Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner’s Reconnect to Finish Program

•             $300,000 for the Federal Hill House to Expand its Services

•             $300,000 for a Skills Training and Mentorship Program at Polaris MEP

•             $263,000 for Healthcare Workforce Development Programming by Genesis Center

•             $250,000 for the Refugee Dream Center to Provide Refugee Integration Programs

•             $250,000 for the Center for Southeast Asians to Offer Workforce Readiness Training

•             $200,000 for Stages of Freedom to Expand its Swim Safety Program

•             $150,000 for DownCity Design to Expand its Youth Skills Training Programs

•             $100,000 for the Center for Dynamic Learning’s Teen Apprenticeship Program

•             $100,000 for Tides Family Services to Offer Bilingual Behavioral Health Services

•             $50,000 for the Empowerment Factory to Conduct Out of School Time Arts Programs

•             $50,000 for Westbay Community Action to Expand its Senior Nutrition Program

•             $18,000 for Senior and Family Services in Burrillville

•             $15,000 for Rhode Island Center for the Book’s Reading Across Rhode Island Program

 

FY23 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon VA) Appropriations: $46,000,000

•             $46 million for a Consolidated Headquarters, Medical, and Dining Facility at Quonset Point Air National Guard Base

 

FY23 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations: $50,707,000

•             $10 million for the Preservation of Mount Hope Bridge

•             $4.5 million for Green Infrastructure at the Riverwalk at Town Landing in Pawtucket

•             $4.4 million for Rocky Point Park

•             $4 million for Bridge Repair and Replacement in Woonsocket

•             $2.9 million for Enhancements to the Woonasquatucket Greenway in Providence

•             $2.5 million for the Purchase of New RIPTA Buses

•             $2 million for a Cove Homes Housing Development

•             $2 million for the Renovation of the Boys & Girls Club of Providence’s Wanskuck Clubhouse

•             $2 million for the Purchase and Renovation of a Woonsocket Clubhouse for the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Rhode Island

•             $2 million for the Acquisition and Restoration of the Historic Atlantic Mills Complex in Olneyville

•             $2 million for Curbing and Sidewalks in North Kingstown

•             $2 million for a Foster Forward Affordable Housing Initiative

•             $2 million for an Olneyville Housing Corporation Affordable Housing Project

•             $2 million for a Community Center in East Providence

•             $1 million for Crossroads Rhode Island to Develop a Health and Housing Facility for Medically Vulnerable Adults Experiencing Homelessness

•             $1 million for Resurfacing and Sidewalk Rehab in East Greenwich

•             $1 million for an Outdoor Recreation Facility in North Providence

•             $1 million for Sidewalks in Bristol

•             $1 million for Terminal Upgrades at T.F. Green International Airport

•             $465,000 for Building Demolition in Hopkinton

•             $350,000 for a New Facility for Higher Ground International

•             $342,000 for the Genesis Center’s Culinary Hub of Providence (CHOP)

•             $250,000 for Polaris MEP to Provide Advanced Manufacturing Job Training