(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included $2.1 million in federal funding for the Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative in a critical spending bill. The money will help law enforcement and treatment and prevention groups throughout Washington state fight the spread of meth and address a surge in related gang activity, particularly in the areas of Yakima, Spokane, the Tri-Cities, and all of the counties along the I-5 corridor.
Senator Murray included the funding in the 2009 Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations portion of the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for most federal government programs and targeted community projects for Fiscal Year 2009. The Omnibus bill is separate from the Economic Recovery bill passed by Congress and enacted by President Obama last week.
“This funding is a crucial investment in keeping our communities safe,” Senator Murray said. “The Washington State Meth Initiative has made a profound impact in the fight against meth. But the economic recession is forcing communities across our state to cut their budgets even as the economy is also causing some crime rates to rise. We can’t afford to let our guard down. This funding will ensure that law enforcement, and treatment and prevention groups can keep up the battle against meth, gangs, and related crimes.”
The WSMI was organized in 1999 as a proactive approach by a coalition of concerned, public and private groups that work in conjunction with federal, state and local agencies. The program fights meth through enforcement and prosecution, intelligence, investigation and forensics, public health and ecology, professional training, community education and prevention, and family treatment services. The funding Senator Murray included in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill will be a critical part of the WSMI efforts to fight new threats, including growing meth trafficking from Canada and a dramatic increase in crystal meth through Mexican cartels. With this funding, Senator Murray has secured nearly $17 million for the WSMI since 2001. More about Senator Murray’s work to fight meth.
The 2009 Omnibus will fund projects for the remainder of the 2009 Fiscal Year which runs until September 30th, 2009. The federal government is currently operating under spending levels passed for Fiscal Year 2008 because President Bush refused to sign many 2009 spending bills last year and Congress was forced to pass a continuing resolution. The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill was unveiled today and is expected to be passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in the coming weeks.