The proposed Hanford budget for next year got a $50 million boost, thanks to the work of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Tuesday. She also had planned to add money to allow work to continue to license Yucca Mountain, Nev., as a national repository for high-level radioactive waste. However, no amendments were allowed at the markup of the fiscal 2011 Department of Energy proposed budget before a Senate subcommittee Tuesday. Instead, she plans to bring the amendment to a vote of the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.
- Tri-City Herald
Sen. Patty Murray announced Wednesday she has earmarked $3 million toward a new South Park Bridge. The 79-year-old drawspan declined for years and was finally closed to traffic last month. It missed the cut during a round of federal stimulus grants last winter.Asked about the bridge at a Mercer Street funding celebration in February, she said leaders here should "get your funding together," if they hope win federal grants at South Park. Since then, local and state governments have proposed $95 million toward the $131 million estimated cost. Murray is running for re-election this fall.
- Seattle Times
The financial regulatory bill has passed Congress. It does not go far enough, but it is a good deal better than nothing, and The Seattle Times commends Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell for supporting it in the Senate last week.
- The Seattle Times
A military construction bill now making its way through the Senate includes $10.4 million to help build a new chapel at the McChord air base, part of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Chapel services and activities are currently conducted in three deteriorating, World War II-era buildings that are so close to the McChord flight path that parishioners face 65-decibel noise levels and airfield odors. “Our service members deserve better than dilapidated, outdated facilities,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who secured the funding. Murray is a member of the Senate military construction appropriations subcommittee.
- The News Tribune
The U.S. Senate may soon become a bit more functional. A time-honored but much abused Senate tradition that allows a single member to secretly block confirmation votes or hold up legislation looks to be on its last legs….Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., framed the issue well during a recent Senate Rules Committee hearing on the Wyden-Grassley bill: "If I decide to hold up a nominee or bill, my constituents deserve to know that I am doing it, and why. I believe this should hold true for all of us. We need to move away from secretive, back room politics."
- Longview Daily News
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., credited with being a key champion of the monument, remembered coming to the sage- and brush-covered land as a child when her grandparents lived nearby. "I've had a chance to work on a lot of important issues for our state, but protecting the Reach really has had a special, personal meaning for me," she said. "I still remember how much I loved this area when I was young and how much I was in awe of the wide open landscape and the way everyone cared for the land as if it was their own backyard." Protecting the Reach "is about capturing our future," she said. Salmon spawning habitat must be protected and families must be ensured they will be able to use the river for recreation for years into the future, she said.
- Tri-City Herald
Ninety-one members of Congress urged the Department of Energy on Tuesday to immediately halt work to dismantle the Yucca Mountain, Nev., nuclear repository. They signed onto a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu written by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.
- Tri-City Herald
A Vancouver nonprofit organization has been awarded $173,280 to help homeless veterans with children….The grant was announced by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. It was funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, through its Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. “I am so glad that Partners in Careers will be receiving this federal investment to help local homeless veterans get the support they need to stay off the streets and get their lives back on track,” Murray said in the announcement.
- The Columbian
Unworkable politically, that is. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has long opposed the Yucca site in his home state. Washington's own Sen. Patty Murray, an unfailing champion of the Yucca site, nailed Energy Secretary Steven Chu when he could not produce any scientific reason for the decision
- The Seattle Times (Editorial)
Washington's senators are calling for improvements in a program to compensate ill Hanford workers or their survivors. They continue to hear from workers and their families that getting a claim approved is slow and difficult. "Since the average length of time to process a claim takes between one and three years, one of the biggest concerns of Hanford workers is fully understanding upfront the requirements to qualify, rather than investing months and even years of time and resources to ultimately be denied," said the staff of Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both D-Wash., in a statement.