News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) Subcommittee, announced that she has included funding to boost Eastern Washington education priorities in the Fiscal Year 2011 LHHS Appropriations bill.

"In the 21st century economy, it is critical that we continue investing in local projects that train our workforce, teach our students, and boost our economy in communities throughout Eastern Washington," said Senator Murray. "These investments will fund community priorities like a school-based mentor project and a water policy center. I was proud to fight for these local investments, and I'm going to continue working to help Washington state communities meet the needs of their families.”

Having passed the LHHS Subcommittee, the bill will now go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee before going to the full Senate for consideration.

The following projects were included in the bill for Eastern Washington:

Eastern Washington University, Center for Water Policy – $300,000

This funding will allow Eastern Washington University to educate, research, and disseminate vital information on regional water issues.

“The majority of water study centers, both in our region and elsewhere, focus on the natural sciences for analysis and solutions to the problems they examine.  The EWU Center for Water Policy is different in that it looks at both societal and natural factors as inextricably linked in most water issues, such as allocation, contamination and conservation.  It has often been the case in the West that such issues were approached only from an ecological or a societal perspective, as though each were a self-contained universe within which solutions could be devised without reference to the other.  Patently, this is not true.  Water rarely becomes polluted, diverted, or inaccessible solely as a result of natural processes, nor does society control the natural limitations of climatic fluctuation, geological process or ecosystem regimens on the water supply,” said Rodolfo Arévalo, Ph.D., President, Eastern Washington University.

Arévalo added, “It is the objective of the Center for Water Policy to provide fact-driven data to assist policy and decision-making.  The natural limitations and strengths of the ecosystem and the societal parameters of competition, cooperation, and compromise must all be analyzed objectively before specific water projects can be satisfactorily accomplished.  Over time, accumulated results should also inform more basic policy to guide future decisions.”

Communities in Schools in Spokane County, School-Based Mentor Project – $150,000

This funding will allow Communities in Schools of Spokane County to expand a successful mentorship program to three new middle schools.

“We are very excited to expand the proven successes of the school-based mentor program with the help of Senator Murray’s office. We look forward to partnering 100 adult mentors with at-risk you at the middle school level in our community in the next year. This program will impact not only student’s personal lives but their academic performance as well,” said Ben Stuckart, Executive Director.