HAWAI‘I PRIORITIES PROTECTED IN OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Schatz Announces Funding for East-West Center, Defense Programs, Native Hawaiian Health Care, Education, Housing, Rail, Disaster Preparedness
News Release from Office of Sen Brian Schatz January 14, 2014
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- Hawai‘i) announced today that the Fiscal Year 2014 omnibus appropriations bill – released last night by Senate and House Appropriations Committees - includes more than $744 million directly for Hawai‘i’s priorities.
The omnibus appropriations bill includes more than $1 billion for defense programs benefiting Hawai‘i, with $392 million for military construction in Hawai‘i and more than $450 million for road and transit grants and formula dollars benefitting Hawai‘i, with $250 million set aside for Honolulu’s rail project in FY 2014. Senator Schatz worked with appropriators to increase funding for the East-West Center to $16.7 million, nearly $6 million above the request in the President’s budget, and protect funding for Native Hawaiian health, education, and housing programs, as well as other Hawai‘i priorities that the U.S. House of Representatives tried to cut.
“We did well for Hawai‘i in this appropriations process, especially in light of the fact that budgets are tight across the country. We’re deeply appreciative that when we made the case for Hawai‘i’s projects, Senate appropriators listened and we were able to protect funding, and in some cases even increase funding, for Hawai‘i’s priorities,” said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz. “Funding for the East-West Center, transportation, Native Hawaiian health care and education, clean energy, and defense are all important investments for jobs and to our future here in Hawai‘i.”
“All of us in the Senate have seen what a tireless advocate for the people of Hawai‘i Brian has been during the appropriations process,” said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “He fought to deliver for his state and protect Hawai‘i's priorities - he's proven his effectiveness here through the relationships he's built with his colleagues and determination to get things done.”
The FY 2014 omnibus spending bill includes a dozen appropriations bills setting forth detailed spending decisions for the U.S. government from December’s compromise budget agreement. The Appropriations Committee was able to resume work on these appropriations bills, avoid more sequestration cuts, and avert a government shutdown only due to the budget agreement that the President signed into law on December 26 on Oahu.
Summary of the FY2014 Omnibus for Hawai‘i
The omnibus includes the following for Hawai‘i:
East-West Center - $16.7 Million
Senator Schatz worked with Senate appropriations leaders to increase the funding by nearly $6 million above the request in the President’s budget and restore the funding from sequestration cuts. The funding will allow the East-West Center to continue research, education, and outreach to support the United States’ defense and diplomacy with other Asia-Pacific nations. This work is more critical now than ever, with the President’s strategic U.S.-Asia rebalancing.
Senator Schatz has been championing funding for the East-West Center with Senate Appropriations leaders since January. After President Obama requested only $10.8 million for the Center for fiscal year 2014, Senator Schatz continued his conversations with Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski and Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy to increase the funding. Senator Schatz also formally requested that the Center receive $16.8 million in FY 2014 in letters to Mikulski and Leahy where he touted the important role the Center plays in promoting economic and security relationships between the U.S. and Asia-Pacific nations. The State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee and then the full Senate Appropriations Committee both then approved $16.7 million for the East-West Center, but the U.S. House of Representatives appropriated $0 for the Center. Schatz worked with Senate leaders to make sure the Senate’s funding figure was included in the joint House-Senate omnibus package.
“As Chairman of the Board of Governors of the East-West Center, I wish to express my personal deepest appreciation and thanks to Senator Brian Schatz for taking the lead on securing $16.7 million on behalf of the East-West Center, especially during this difficult budget environment,” said Rick Tsujimura, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the East-West Center. “I am especially appreciative of Senator Schatz's effort in educating the United States Senate about the importance of the East-West Center in advancing U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific region. The critical funding approved by the Senate will help the Center accomplish its mission of encouraging dialogue, leadership, and goodwill in the region."
“Senator Schatz was instrumental in securing the funding in this bill for the East-West Center for the next fiscal year. He’s an effective advocate for the Center, which plays an important role in foreign policy and in our relations with other nations and regions,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Native Hawaiian Programs
Native Hawaiian Health Care - $14.4 million
Funding for Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems (NHHCS) programs is critical in order to improve the health of the Native Hawaiian population to the highest possible level. Many Native Hawaiians face geographical, cultural, and financial barriers that prevent them from accessing existing health services. Native Hawaiian Health Centers, run through the NHHCS program, provide critical access to health education, promotion, disease prevention, and basic primary care services for the more than 8,400 Native Hawaiians enrolled in the NHHCS programs. This funding will support five health centers on Hawai‘i Island, Kauai, Molokai, Maui, and Oahu.
The House of Representatives appropriated $0 for this program for FY2014. Senator Schatz fought to ensure the Senate number of $14,421,000 was included in the omnibus and that sequestration cuts to the program were reversed. Due to the sequester, last year the program was funded at only $13.5 million.
Native Hawaiian Education - $32.4 million
Native Hawaiians have reduced access to early childhood education, and they are less likely to attain a high school or college diploma than their peers. To address this issue, funding from the Native Hawaiian Education grant program supports innovative, culturally-sensitive education programs to advance education outcomes for Native Hawaiians. These are competitive grants to public and private entities to develop or operate innovative projects that enhance the educational services provided to Native Hawaiian children and adults. These programs have included early education and care; family-based centers; reading and literacy programs; and opportunities for gifted and talented students of Native Hawaiian descent.
These programs help strengthen Native Hawaiian culture, increase community cohesion, sustain and advance Native Hawaiian language learning and literacy, improve levels of educational attainment, and enhance family and community involvement in education – all of which have been directly correlated with positive educational, social and economic outcomes. New grantees in FY 2011 alone supported more than 30,000 Native Hawaiian children and families.
In 2012, grant awardees included Partners in Development Foundation’s Ka Pa‘alana Homeless Family Education Program and Windward Community College’s Pathway Out of Poverty program. A full list of 2012 grantees is available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nathawaiian/awards12.html.
Native Hawaiian Housing - $10.1 million
These block grants and loan guarantees support affordable housing for Native Hawaiians, who have consistently posted the highest rate of homelessness and inadequate housing of any group in the nation. Funding is directed to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and is used to provide financial assistance for Native Hawaiian families to acquire new housing or to rehabilitate existing homes. Housing can be either rental or homeownership. Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) funds can also be used for certain types of community facilities and to provide housing services, including homeownership counseling, financial literacy and technical assistance, to prepare families for home purchase and ownership. The Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant provides critical resources to address housing disparities faced by the Native Hawaiian community throughout the state.
The Native Hawaiian Housing Loan Guarantee Fund provides Native Hawaiian families with access to sources of private financing for owner-occupant single family dwellings located on Hawaiian home lands. Eligible Native Hawaiians can obtain a home mortgage with a market rate of interest with a federal guarantee for the lender in the event of a default. The program is designed to enhance access to credit and promote greater home ownership, property rehabilitation, and new construction opportunities for eligible Native Hawaiian individuals and families.
Senator Schatz fought to ensure this program was included in the omnibus appropriations bill after the House of Representatives passed their housing appropriations bill with $0 for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant program or for Native Hawaiian loan guarantees.
HART, Honolulu Rail Transit - $250 million
One of Senator Schatz’s top priorities is ensuring full funding for Honolulu Rail Transit (HART). As a member of the Transportation Committee (Commerce subcommittee on Surface Transportation), Senator Schatz has worked with Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and state officials to support this project, and he has met with the Department of Transportation Secretary and Federal Transit Administration Administrator and secured commitments that they will continue to work to ensure Honolulu rail has the federal funds promised in order to provide the people of Hawai‘i more transportation choices and protect the environment.
Rail transit will be electrically powered, and with Hawai‘i moving toward the goal of 70 percent clean energy by 2030, the trains will get greener as the percentage of renewable energy produced increases. In FY 2013, HART was hit by sequestration cuts and only received $236 million. The budget and the omnibus bill restore HART’s funding to $250 million for FY 2014.
Air Transportation for Kalaupapa and Kamuela Communities – est. $1.4 million
This Essential Air Service Subsidy provides air service support for Kalaupapa and Kamuela. Without this federal assistance, Kalaupapa would be isolated without direct air access to medical care and other important services not available locally. In late 2013, federal subsidies enabled interisland flights to resume at Waimea-Kohala airport, to directly connect this upcountry community to Honolulu. Mokulele Airlines operates these nonstop interisland flights. Continued strong funding for essential air service allows these flights to continue.
Federal Essential Air Service grants subsidize service to and from small airports across the United States. They serve to ensure residents and businesses in these areas have access to air travel options by providing funding to airlines and airports to keep their flights running. Senator Schatz is a member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation, which authorizes the Essential Air Service Program. The omnibus includes $149 million for the Essential Air Service Program to ensure subsidies for Kaluapapa and Kamuela are available. Over the last two years, more than $900,000 annually has been provided for Kaluapapa service. Service for Kamuela is new, but in FY 2014, it is estimated that the subsidy will be $490,000.
Hawai‘i Highways – est. $165 million
These federal funds pay for upkeep, construction, commuting improvements for Hawai‘i’s highways and bridges. With some of the most dangerous roads for pedestrians in the nation, they also support improvements to make the roads safer for all users.
Bus Funding – est. $43 million
These federal funds support TheBus, Maui Bus, Hele-On Bus, and The Kauai Bus.
Airports and Airways - $12.4 billion for FAA, $3.35 billion for Airport Improvement (nationwide)
As an island state, reliable air travel is especially critical for Hawai‘i residents, visitors, and business travelers. Senator Schatz is dedicated to ensuring that Hawai‘i airports get the federal support they need to improve safety and efficiency. Funding included in this omnibus appropriations bill means that the state will continue to receive funding for critical improvements, allowing Hawai‘i to continue to grow as a tourist destination and economic center. Essential air traffic control services were seriously threatened by sequestration cuts last year, and this bill will help keep our skies safe for travelers by providing funding to keep the air traffic control system fully operational, avoiding the need for furloughs of essential air-traffic control personnel, as well as to keep Hawai‘i’s four contract control towers open: Kalaeola, Kona/Keahole, Lihue, and Molokai. This federal funding will support modernization of Hawaii’s airports and allow FAA to continue services, such as work on the certification process for new turboprop service from Honolulu to Lanai and Molokai.
The omnibus maintains Hawai‘i’s National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, which helps to ensure that first responders have the know-how to protect communities. The omnibus also keeps intact the tsunami warning network that protects Hawai‘i, and directs the federal government to maintain and strengthen it.
U.S. Tsunami Warning System -$26.88 million
The omnibus increases funding from sequestration and keeps intact the tsunami warning network that protects Hawai‘i, and directs NOAA to maintain and strengthen it.
Major tsunamis occur about once per decade. Based on historical data, about 59% of the world's tsunamis have occurred in the Pacific Ocean, 25% in the Mediterranean Sea, 12% in the Atlantic Ocean, and 4% in the Indian Ocean. In particular, Hawai‘i and Alaska are vulnerable, and so Senator Inouye (D- Hawai‘i) and Senator Stevens (R - Alaska) worked as a team to fight to develop a national warning capacity. Senator Schatz advocated to maintain the investment that will warn Hawai‘i’s communities of impending harm to save lives and property—and to grow that investment, particularly in light of the recent Japanese tsunami.
The funding supports investments in tsunami warning infrastructure and expands outreach activities to enable preparedness throughout the Pacific. It also supports increased grant funding to support local education, awareness, and inundation and evacuation map development. The requested funds will reduce time between scheduled maintenance intervals for the DART buoy network, which provides key data to the tsunami warning system. The increased funding will also provide for sufficient levels of sensors and other equipment. Investment in the NTHMP mitigates the risks found in the 2011 National Academies of Science assessment report entitled, “Tsunami Warning and Preparedness,” which indicated that the current capabilities are still not sufficient to meet the challenges posed by a tsunami generated close to land, which could reach the coast minutes after the triggering event.
National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) - $98 million
The National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) is the primary vehicle through which FEMA develops and delivers all-hazards training to state and local emergency responders. The NDPC is a partnership of six nationally recognized organizations focused on enhancing first responders’ capability, including the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) at the University of Hawai‘i. The Consortium provides training to more than 60,000 emergency responders annually and has trained more than a million responders since 1998. Effective training for first responders is critical to ensuring our nation is adequately prepared for natural and man-made disasters. The President’s budget request proposed consolidating and reducing funding for training centers to only $60 million. This proposed consolidation would have placed existing consortium members in a larger competitive pool, which may have resulted in less funding overall for training centers and negatively impact their current efforts.
The NDPTC at the University of Hawai‘i was added to the Consortium in 2007 to develop and deliver training and educational programs focused on natural hazards (tsunami, volcano, coastal flood, and hurricane), coastal communities, and the unique needs of islands and territories. The NDPTC partners with state and federal agencies, academia, and other organizations, including the Pacific Risk Management Ohana, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA International Tsunami Information Centre, U.S. Pacific Command’s Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Center for Tsunami Research, and U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program Observatories and Centers, to provide FEMA-certified training on natural disasters. The NDPTC created the first FEMA certified tsunami course. The NDPTC’s work supports increasing disaster resilient communities.
Emergency Management Performance Grant Program - $350 million
The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program is the only source of federal assistance to state and local governments for all-hazards emergency management capacity building, and provides states with the flexibility to prioritize spending according to the most urgent state and local needs. Commonly referred to as “the backbone of the nation’s emergency management system,” EMPG funds are critical to supporting personnel, planning, training, exercises, warning systems, public outreach, and other functions essential to effective preparedness.
EMPG supports approximately 40 percent of personnel costs at Hawai‘i State Civil Defense, and the rest is used for planning activities, training courses exercise events, equipment procurement, construction/renovation of Emergency Operations Center, maintenance/sustainment contracts. In FY 2012, the State Civil Defense received $3.4 million. EMPG supports State Civil Defense’s ability to protect the people of Hawai‘i from all hazards.
Hawai‘i-Related Defense Programs
Without a budget compromise, the Department of Defense (DoD) would have faced an additional 40 percent budget cut in 2014 ($52 billion in 2014 compared to $37 billion in 2013), forcing the department to make dramatic cuts to training and readiness and potentially involuntary reductions in force for civilian employees that would have had far reaching consequences for national security.
Navy-Alternative Energy Research - $170.3 million
The Navy’s alternative energy research supports the development of new fuels and electricity sources that will help the Navy (and the military more broadly) move away from its reliance on oil and reduce the financial impact of operating in Hawai‘i. The research also has potential commercial and civilian applications. Hawai‘i organizations including the University of Hawai‘i (Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute), Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, and numerous other high-tech companies have conducted valuable research contributing significantly to the Navy’s energy security while supporting Hawai‘i renewable energy goals, creating jobs, and promoting STEM and outreach activities in Hawai‘i.
In previous years, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) has supported a broad range of alternative fuel and renewable energy initiatives in Hawai‘i. On Molokai, for example, the Navy has partnered with Hawai‘i Electric Co. and Okinawa Enetech to develop advanced smart microgrid technology that promises to help stabilize the grid while reducing costs for residents by integrating renewable energy technologies. The Navy has also supported efforts by local Hawai‘i companies like Makai Ocean Engineering to develop ocean thermal energy conversion technology that uses the temperature differential between hot and cold ocean water to generate electricity.
ONR has also supported research into hydrogen fuel, and using sustainable biomass for use in the production of biofuels for naval vessels. Most recently, in September 2013, the Navy announced a $30 million investment in Hawai‘i-based Energy Excelerator, an energy startup program that aims to help companies bring innovative energy solutions to the marketplace. This investment in the Navy’s alternative energy research will help Hawai‘i to continue to lead in clean energy technology and implementation, and the Navy’s continued investment in alternative energy will pay dividends to our state, our economy, and our national security.
Senator Schatz worked with Senate leaders to increase the amount of funding for this program from the President’s request of $145.3 million to $170.3 million in the Senate Appropriations package and ensure $170.3 million was included in the Omnibus bill instead of the House’s number of $145.3 million.
Environmental Restoration Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) - $287 million
This program allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue its efforts to identify and remove unexploded ordnance at former military sites across the neighbor islands, ensuring that military training and activities remain in balance with Hawai‘i’s cultural and environmental sensitivities. In 2002, students at Waimea Middle School discovered an active grenade in the school garden before the area was cleared by the Army Corps of Engineers. And in 2009, a team of University of Hawai‘i scientists uncovered a cache of unexploded bombs off the coast of Pearl Harbor while surveying the ocean floor in preparation for the State’s proposed interisland cable project. In Hawai‘i, the Army Cops contracts with local companies to support local jobs for these remediation projects.
Since this program is important to jobs in Hawai‘i, Senator Schatz requested $50 million more than the President’s budget for the FUDS program and Senator Schatz worked to ensure the full Senate funding for the program was included in the omnibus, rather than the House’s lower number.
DoD Readiness and Environmental Protection Initiative (REPI) - $63 million
Hawai‘i benefits from a number of DoD buffering projects that have protected DoD readiness and environmental interests. Most recently, REPI funding helped support the $25 million acquisition of the Galbraith Estate in Central Oahu adjacent to the Schofield Barracks. The Army provided $4.5 million to the Hawai‘i Trust for Public Land to secure the fee title which will allow the community to preserve the 1,732 acres of land for farming instead of commercial development.
DoD STARBASE Program - $25 million
The DoD STARBASE Program is a successful partnership of military installations, local school districts, and their communities and has proven its effectiveness in enhancing the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) field study education understanding of its participants. Sustaining the program will help ensure DoD’s commitment to building the future workforce needed to support Hawai‘i’s defense industry.
Maui Space Situational Awareness - $29 million
The Maui Space Situational Awareness research program sustains the investment in funding for the Maui Space Surveillance System, a one-of-a-kind electro-optical facility that supports the Air Force’s efforts to track space debris. Funding specifically upgrades the Laser Guidestar system at the Maui Space Surveillance System, and is used to facilitate the demonstration of ground based optical space situational awareness capabilities.
Hawai‘i Military Construction - $392 million
Congress has appropriated $392,343,000 for military construction projects in Hawai‘i for FY 2014. This appropriation for military construction is an increase from previous years, from $284,296,000 in FY 2012 and $366,099,000 in FY 2013.
· Command and Control Facility, Fort Shafter - $70 million
Funding for this construction projects will allow the Army to move forward with construction of a new U.S. Army Pacific Command and Control Facility at Fort Shafter, helping the Army strengthen its foothold in Hawai‘i as it rebalances to the Asia Pacific.
· 3rd Radio Battalion Maintenance/Operations Complex, Kaneohe Bay - $25 million
The 3rd Radio Battalion has had a significant increase in personnel and equipment and is using temporary facilities to support continued operations. Funding for this new complex will ensure that the unit has the necessary facilities to support operations and readiness of the 3rd Radio Battalion and put the unit on a long-term footing to operate more efficiently in support of the defense mission in Hawaii and the Pacific.
· AirCraft Maintenance Expansion, Kaneohe Bay – $17 million
Funding for this project will allow the Navy to construct a low-rise composite shop building and a Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron ground support equipment holding shed. Without the project, the squadron could see delays in performing routine and emergency maintenance of aircraft which will impact aircraft availability, undermining operations and training schedules.
· Aircraft Maintenance Hangar Upgrades, Kaneohe Bay - $ 31.8 million
Funding for this construction project will ensure that the Marine Corps can renovate the existing low-rise aircraft hangar to provide a hangar bay, administrative space and shop space for the Marine Light Attack Helicopter squadron. Without the upgrades, the squadron would not be able to perform maintenance on the required number of aircraft, delaying or forcing scheduled maintenance to be done elsewhere.
· Aviation Simulator Modernization/Addition, Kaneohe Bay - $17.7 million
Funding for this project will allow the Navy to construct a low-rise Aviation Simulation Training Facility to support the Marine Aviation Training System Site. Without this project there would be no space in the existing facilities to house the new aviation simulators required to support the MV-22 Osprey squadrons at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe.
· MV-22 Hangar, Kaneohe Bay - $57.517 million
Existing hangar facilities at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe are being used for other aircraft and cannot support the new V-22 Osprey squadrons being assigned to the base. The new hangar facility will support these squadron, including ensuring that squadron personnel will be able to perform maintenance on the require aircraft.
· MV-22 Parking Apron and Infrastructure, Kaneohe Bay - $74.7 million
Funding for this project will allow the Navy to construct a new facility to house two MV-22 Osprey squadrons that are being assigned to Marine Aviation Group 24 based at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay. Without this hangar, Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay would not be able to support the new V-22 squadrons assigned to this aviation group.
· Water Transmission Line, Pearl City - $30.1 million
A new 1,050 mm primary potable waterline (42-inch water main pipe) is required for Joint Base Pearl- Harbor Hickham and the Army Aliamanu Housing area who depend on this system for its potable and industrial water, as well as for fire protection. It will replace a 59+ year old waterline that is failing.
· Drydock Waterfront Facility, Pearl Harbor - $22.7 million
Funding for this project will allow the Navy to construct a permanent waterfront facility at Drydock 2 that will centralize and consolidate planning and production personnel who directly support major submarine availabilities during drydocking. Without this, the shipyard would have difficulty performing critical drydocking work vital to the maintenance of submarines and surface ships.
· Submarine Production Support Facility, Pearl Harbor - $35 million
Funding for this project will allow the shipyard to consolidate submarine production and maintenance support functions in one facility that are currently performed in eleven separate, inefficient and deteriorated facilities. Without the project, radiological work process would be inefficient, requiring additional handling of radioactive materials and increasing the risk of personnel exposure to radiation due to the fragmented work areas.
· C-17 Modernization Hangar 35, Docks 1 and 2, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam - $4.8 million
The C-17 aircraft based at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam require an enclosed covered aircraft maintenance space in order to keep them fully operational. This project permits a cost-effective, partial workaround for C-17 to be maintained in Hangar 35 when the docks are not used for higher priority aircraft until a new C-17 hangar can be approved and constructed. It modifies hangar doors to permit complete entry of C-17 aircraft and provides the capability to jack C-17 aircraft. C-17 aircraft in this squadron lose days of operational availability due to delays in routine maintenance caused by the weather. When work is started but weather conditions change from the forecast, airmen working in vicinity of a jacked aircraft are subjected to greater safety risk and man-hours lost while closing systems until maintenance can safely resume.
· Defense Information Systems Pacific Facility Upgrades, Ford Island - $2.6 million
Funding for this project will provide critical cooling capacity and redundancy with concurrent maintenance capability for all the DISA PAC spaces in Building 77 at Ford Island. Without this project, the DNC and the server rooms with the additional equipment will not have adequate cooling and redundancy.
· Alter Warehouse Space, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam – $2.8 million
Funding for this project would allow Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to alter 840 square-meters (9,040 square-feet) of existing vacant warehouse space into administrative office space to support 39 employees with the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support. If this project is not provided, DLA will be required to spend funds to repair a location that is dispersed from the other previously consolidated DLA missions at Pearl Harbor.
Other Programs Benefitting Hawai‘i
Small Business Development Centers - $113.6 million (nationwide)
Hawai‘i has six Small Business Development Centers across the state that provide valuable counseling services to small businesses, including those owned by Native Hawaiians, minorities, and women. The funding in the omnibus would help support three new programs: a “farmers in business initiative” to promote sustainable farming, an export promotion program, and an entrepreneurship fair and 8-week course for returning veterans.
Community Health Centers - $3.6 billion (mandatory and discretionary nationwide)
Senator Schatz understands the importance of community health centers (CHCs) in providing access to quality, effective care to our most underserved. He was a strong advocate for funding CHCs in FY 2014. He has also worked with his colleagues to make sure that funding authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the Community Health Center Fund continued.
In 2012, health centers in Hawai‘i provided care to more than 144,000 patients, of which approximately a third were children. Almost three out of four those patients had an income at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty line. Federal funds to support CHCs are awarded after a competitive grant application process. In FY 2012, 14 heath centers on Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Hawai‘i Island received over $15.5 million through this program.
Health Centers in Hawai‘i:
• Waikiki Health Center (Oahu)
• The Bay Clinic (Hawai‘i)
• Ho’ola Lahui (Kauai)
• Hana Community Health Center (Maui)
• Lanai Community Health Center (Lanai)
• Hamakua Health Center (Hawai‘i)
• Waimanalo Health Center (Oahu)
• Kalihi-Palama Health Center (Oahu)
• Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center (Oahu)
• Molokai Ohana Health Care (Molokai)
• Kokua Kalihi Valley Community Health Center (Oahu)
• West Hawai‘i Community Health Center (Hawai‘i)
• Community Clinic of Maui (Maui)
• Ko’olauloa Community Health and Wellness Center (Oahu)
Brown Tree Snake Control– Funding from two sources - $90.9 million nationwide with at least $3.5 million directed to Brown Tree Snake Control
The Brown Tree Snake is not known to be present in Hawai‘i at this time, although a total of eight brown tree snakes have been found alive or dead in Hawai‘i between 1981 and 1998. All snakes were associated with the movement of civilian and military vehicles or cargo from Guam. No special searches were conducted for cargo or crafts as they were leaving Guam or arriving from Guam in Hawai‘i prior to the 1980s, as the problem on Guam was still coming to light. Senator Schatz worked to ensure that adequate funding is set aside in the omnibus appropriations bill for Brown Tree Snake control.
Protecting Endangered Hawaiian Sea Monks and Sea Turtles - $176.7 million
Hawaiian monk seals are the only seal species in the world that live in only one nation’s territorial waters—and as an extremely endangered species, that means we have a responsibility to help them toward recovery. The best estimate we have from NOAA of the monk seal population is 1060 seals: 907 in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and 153 in the main 8 Hawaiian Islands. This funding will continue to support monk seal conservation and recovery. These actions make a difference: up to 30 percent of monk seals are alive today because of interventions by NOAA.
Marine mammal funding supports survival enhancement activities for marine mammals, such as: population assessment activities, education and outreach projects, and behavioral research and mitigation programs for human-marine mammal interactions. These efforts are critical to ensuring that seal species do not go extinct.
Hawai‘i’s longline fishery is extremely productive, and in fact, Honolulu was the 5th most profitable fishing port in the nation last year. This funding is critical to maintaining the health of the industry by continuing to monitor and protect five species of endangered sea turtles that live in the same waters the fishing industry uses. By continuing to invest in science to monitor, protect, conserve, and recover turtle populations, we maintain the strength of Hawai‘i’s economy as well.
Sea turtle funding supports activities such as interagency consultation and technical assistance on marine turtle by-catch reduction strategies; cooperative conservation actions in the greater Pacific region; marine turtle stock assessments and scientific research projects; and related activities must be continued to make further progress in implementing recovery actions identified in recovery plans for Endangered Species Act protected marine turtle species.
Senator Schatz worked to increase funding for these programs and reverse last year’s sequestration cuts that funded the program at only $165.5 million.