Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper (both D-Del.) today announced Senate passage of legislation investing in the nation’s education, workforce, and health care. The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations legislation for fiscal year 2008 (H.R. 3043), provides $606 billion to fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
The legislation, which passed the Senate late last night, includes $3 million for projects in Delaware for institutions including the University of Delaware, Vision 2015, and St. Francis Hospital. The Senate version now must be reconciled with a similar bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Once the Senate/House compromise bill is passed, Congress sends that bill to the president for final approval.
“Delaware has long been a leader in research and innovation, and this funding will help us build on that reputation,” said Sen. Biden. “Through this bill, we were able to provide the means to improve vital service programs in the City of Wilmington at St. Francis and Christiana Care, while pledging to help narrow the education achievement gap in Delaware. These are important programs that will help the lives of Delawareans in need.”
“This bipartisan legislation helps protect America’s economic strength, provides hope for medical cures through investments in health care research and preserves social services for our most vulnerable populations,” Sen. Carper said. “This funding bill puts real dollars into programs vital to strengthening the foundation of this country, including eight key projects in our home state of Delaware.”
This appropriations bill invests an additional $7.3 billion over last year in important health, education and worker protection programs as part of a responsible balanced budget plan. The appropriations measure makes college more affordable for millions of students by supporting a Pell grant maximum award of $4,800. H.R. 3043 also improves critical health care access by increasing funds for the community health centers program by $250 million and enhances U.S. competitiveness with a $4.8 billion investment in job training, and career and technical education programs.
Delaware projects in H.R. 3043 total $3 million, including:
· $700,000 for St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington to expand prenatal, maternity, pediatric and other primary care services to indigent populations, specifically targeting continuing services through the St. Clare Medical Van, the Tiny Steps Program and the Center of Hope.
· $500,000 for Christiana Care Health System for construction, renovation and equipment funds to expand Wilmington Hospital’s Emergency Department.
· $500,000 for Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League to continue the “Achievement Matters” program to close achievement gap among minority students. This initiative provides community and school interventions to close the achievement gap in Wilmington’s economically challenged neighborhoods.
· $450,000 for the University of Delaware in Newark for the Delaware Biotechnology Institute to purchase state-of-the-art research instrumentation to support Delaware’s growing life sciences initiative.