News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray today announced she has secured millions of dollars for key Washington state priorities from education and law enforcement to conservation and economic development. Murray secured the funding in the final Omnibus Appropriations bill, which passed the House of Representatives today and is expected to pass the Senate tonight.

"This funding means good jobs and a brighter future for all of us in Washington state. By meeting our federal responsibility for education, health care, job training, and veterans, we've taken an important step forward for every region in our state," Murray said.

Senator Murray is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.

Note: Every project in the Omnibus bill (including each project listed in this release) is subject to an across-the-board cut of 0.83 % to keep the overall bill under spending caps. This release does not include the funding Senator Murray secured for transportation and agriculture, which are detailed in separate releases.

Funding by Region

Puget Sound | Central | Eastern | Northwest | Southwest | Olympic | Statewide



Southern Resident Killer Whale Research -- $1.5 million

The Southern Resident population of killer whales, which consists of three pods, resides in Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait from late spring to early fall. The rest of the year they travel along the west coast, but their activities during this time are not well understood. The population of Southern Resident killer whales has declined 20 percent from 1996 to 2001, from 97 whales to only 78. These funds will fund National Marine Fisheries Service research into vessel impacts, year round distribution of the population, year round studies of prey resources and the effects of pollution on the Southern Resident Killer Whale population.

Pierce County, Police Rapid Mobile Response Network -- $1 million

Pierce County is in the process of upgrading their law enforcement communications network. Pierce County has one of the highest crime rates of any county in Washington state and needs a mobile, wireless video, audio and text-imaging communications systems to provide rapid response to any activity that threatens to degrade the safety, security and mobility in Pierce County.

Maury Island Land Conservation, Maury Island -- $1.5 million

The bill provides $2 million toward one of the missing links in the salmon cycle: protection of key habitat lands along Puget Sound. This funding contributes to the goal of preserving up to 250 acres of rural, coastal land on Maury Island, some of which is currently threatened by gravel extraction activities. Protection of this property has been identified as a key to the Maury Island Conservation Initiative, an effort to preserve one of the state’s largest Madrona forests, and nearly one mile of shoreline habitat that is critical to salmon, cutthroat trout, herring and bottomfish. This project received $2 million in FY 2004. Project proponents are seeking additional matching funds from local, state and private sources. The acquisition partnership is structuring an innovative future ownership configuration to promote high-quality, cost-effective, local stewardship with stakeholders including: Vashon- Maury Island Land Trust, county and state agencies, and Cascade Land Conservancy.

Mt. Rainier National Park Boundary Expansion -- $1 Million

The bill includes $1 million for the acquisition of land to expand Mt. Rainier National Park. A bill authorizing the expansion of Mt. Rainier along the Carbon River was just signed into law in October.

I-90/Plum Creek Land Acquisition Completion -- $3.4 Million

The new funding will help the Forest Service acquire land left out of the original land exchange, and will complete the agreement six years after its inception. In 1998, Congress passed a land agreement between Plum Creek Timber and the National Forest Service through which Plum Creek would exchange ecologically sensitive and precious old-growth forestland in the Cascades for timberland. Though the scope of the agreement decreased in 1999, the government and Plum Creek agreed on 29 parcels of land that would be available for purchase and protection. That year, the government purchased eight of the 29 parcels, and Plum Creek offered the remaining 21 parcels as options with a 3-year deadline for purchase. Since then, Plum Creek has extended the deadline for purchase of the optional lands twice, allowing more time to appropriate the funds necessary.

Shoreline Community College, WA -- $700,000

This funding will expand services at the Center for Manufacturing. For three years, Shoreline Community College has been working closely with local manufacturers, education institutions, and job training organizations to develop a system of manufacturing technology education and skill certification/job referral to help aerospace and other emerging manufacturing industries identify and hire the skilled workers they need. The Center for Manufacturing Excellence is developing a modularized, learner-centered manufacturing technology curriculum system serving the skill needs of emerging industries, and articulating between high school, and two-year and tour-year colleges and universities.

The Old Cooper School, Delridge Neighborhood Association, West Seattle -- $500,000

The Cooper School is Delridge’s one Historic Register building, but it has been boarded up for a decade. The restoration of Cooper School will provide youth in the area and citywide with a Center focused on arts and cultural education. The facility will also house ArtsCorp, a cutting edge arts education program for low income families. Additionally, the Center will also house 36 low income artists in affordable live-work studios on its upper floors. These artists will be able to develop their artwork while maintaining affordable housing costs while contributing to the arts and activities of the Cultural Center.

Washington Public Ports Association, Olympia -- $250,000

Federal funding for this project will give many small ports across the state the chance for advanced training and the networking necessary to retain and attract businesses to the community. The funds will assist economic development in rural, distressed counties by helping to fund local redevelopment planning efforts for communities like Douglas and Klickitat counties and the Port of Anacortes.

University of Washington -- $1.5 million

To construct a Life Science II building to house the Department of Bioengineering.

Girl Scout Totem Council in Seattle, WA -- $ 100,000

This funding will expand the "Fostering a Future" program. Girls in foster care are 3-6 times more likely than children not in care to have emotional, behavioral and developmental problems and are at great risk for not forming healthy attachments to anyone. Working in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, the Fostering a Future program addresses the needs of these children by serving foster girls a unique Girl Scout Troop. Because foster children often move between care settings, this Troop transports girls to troop meetings and activities regardless of changes in their placement. Additionally, Girl Scouts Fostering a Future helps foster youth speak out about their experiences in the foster care system by creating a platform for advocacy.

Puget Sound Center Foundation, WA -- $200,000

This funding will support programs in science, technology, engineering and math among girls and other underrepresented groups. Women constitute 45 percent of the workforce in the U.S., but hold just 12 percent of science and engineering jobs in business and industry. Concurrently, the percentage of female students in engineering, computer science and related fields has fallen from 36 percent to 20 percent in the last two decades. The goal of Puget Sound Center’s TechREACH program is to increase middle school girls’ and under-represented groups’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math through mentoring, hands-on technology-integrated curriculum, and real world projects.

Workforce Development Council of King County, WA -- $100,000

This funding will provide literacy assistance and job training for immigrants.

Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center in Seattle, WA -- $339,350

This funding will establish the Center for Pediatric Bioethics, which will support the expansion of research into critical areas of children’s health nationwide. The Center will address the complex ethical issues that affect patients and families, health care institutions and the broader community related to research involving children. This Center and the work of the Center are critical components of Sen. Murray’s efforts to expand pediatric research.

Green / Duwamish River Restoration - $1.25 million

This funding, through the Corps of Engineers, will help local communities and King County restore riparian habitat. This funding builds on the new construction start money Senator Murray secured last year.

Bainbridge Island - $500,000

This funding will help the local community acquire and protect important shoreline area around Pritchard Park. This funding builds upon the $2 million that Murray secured last year.

Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, WA -- $100,000

This funding will expand the Mathematics Across the Curriculum project. Currently U.S. students perform well below the international average in both science and math. Even more sobering, student achievement actually declines with years in the system. The Mathematics Across the Curriculum (MAC) project improves students attitudes at all levels of education towards learning mathematics by applying mathematics in unexpected places such as art, biology, English, Health, and Spanish. By taking MAC classes, students are now learning statistics, geometry, number sense, and mathematics that help them become quantitatively literate.

South Seattle Community College, WA -- $100,000

This funding will expand apprenticeship training.

Squaxin Island Tribe Water and Wastewater Treatment Project – $250,000

The Squaxin Island Tribe has two water and two sewer systems—one supports reservation residents while the other supports the Tribe’s business ventures and museum. The Tribe has partnered with local agencies and landowners to develop an infrastructural plan that meets both current and future area needs—the current water systems are operating at capacity. This funding will allow the Tribe to combine the two water systems and add capacity. The Tribe has dedicated more than $700,000 toward the project.

One World Now! (TIDES Center) -- $450,000

This funding will expand language programs in after school programs. In an increasingly global environment, the TIDES Center One World Now! Project provides an innovative and comprehensive after-school program offering classes in Mandarin Chinese and Arabic to mostly students of low-income and minority backgrounds. Aside from language classes, OneWorld also provides leadership and cultural workshops, internship placements and summer study abroad opportunities. The mission is to create the next generation of global leaders by giving students the necessary skills and experiences to prepare them for the realities of the 21st Century.

Central Washington

Science & Technology Partnership Center, Heritage College, Toppenish -- $500,000

Heritage College currently teaches its science and health courses in deteriorating, second-hand portables, which cannot accommodate growing enrollment levels or state-of-the-art equipment. The funding for this project will help bring quality instructional and research opportunities to poor, predominantly ethnic-minority, bilingual individuals. This modern facility will provide skills, knowledge and research experiences required to develop local talent and qualify students for high-wage jobs, prepare them to create entrepreneurial small businesses, or ready them for graduate education.

Hanford Reach Visitor Center -- $750,000 (also received $1 Million in Transportation funding)

The funding will come from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and will be used with other sources to help construct the new visitor center. The Fish and Wildlife Service is the manager of the National Monument and will be a partner in the visitor center. The Center will be dedicated to telling the rich history of the Hanford Reach area and inform visitors of all the recreational opportunities of the broader region. Senator Murray has worked on protection of the Hanford Reach since she was elected to the U.S. Senate. She was instrumental in the designation of the National Monument and has since worked to ensure the communities participation in management of the area.

Columbia Basin Groundwater Management Area – $500,000

This project develops and implements locally-driven solutions to improve ground water quality in areas of documented nitrate concern. This is the sixth consecutive year of funding for this important local project.

City of Kennewick/Columbia River Water Filtration Treatment Project – $500,000

This funding will help the City of Kennewick construct a new water treatment plant that will provide safe and reliable drinking water to the greater Tri-City area. This new facility will help support economic diversification efforts throughout the area.

Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, WA -- $500,000

This funding will provide a wireless bedside medication administration system to reduce medical errors. The Hospital will purchase and install a bar-coded patient identification system, wireless bedside medication administration system and computer order entry. This final purchase will allow Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital to complete its medication management program and thereby contribute to the reduction of serious medication errors. One of the major themes of the IOM report on reducing medical errors was increasing the use of automation and information technology. Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is moving to implement these recommendations and reduce medical errors to improve patient safety.

Hanford Nuclear Cleanup - approximately $2 billion

This funding supports the Department of Energy cleanup the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - $10 million

This funding will help save jobs in the Tri-Cities. The federal Department of Energy plans to demolish the 300 Area of the PNNL facilities. The Department has no plans to replace that part of the lab, which houses about 1,000 workers. Senator Murray wants to make sure there are replacement facilities so those jobs stay in Washington state rather than be lost to other labs around the country. Senator Murray visited the 300 Area in October 2004, met with local leaders, and worked in the Senate to secure this funding, which will begin the process of building replacement facilities and retaining local jobs.

HAMMER - $8 million

This funding is provided to operate the HAMMER facility.

Hanford Production Worker Screening - $790,000

This funding is provided to the University of Washington to continue the Hanford Production Workers Medical Screening Program and to initiate medical screening of current tank farm workers. President Bush's budget proposed eliminating on-site medical screenings for Hanford workers, but Murray's funding ensures that Hanford workers can continue to get medical testing on-site.

Yakima Basin Additional Water Storage - $1.5 million

This funding is provided to the Bureau of Reclamation to continue studies for additional water storage in the Yakima Basin. Included within this study is consideration of the Black Rock Reservoir proposal.

Eastern Washington

Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer Study -- $2 million

Energy companies in the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene region have wanted to build three power plants in Idaho over the water source for the Spokane Rathdrum Aquifer. The plants would require 20 million gallons of water a day from the Aquifer, which is the sole source of drinking water for the region. Business leaders in the region requested a study to determine how these power plants would affect the Aquifer. Murray worked closely with community leaders and Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) to secure this funding. As was the case with the $500,000 Murray secured in the FY 2004 Interior Appropriations bill, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will use the money in conjunction with the Washington Department of Ecology and the Idaho Department Environmental Quality. [The $2 million comes from $1.5 million in the VA-HUD bill and $500,000 in the Interior bill.]

Washington State University -- $250,000

This funding will provide education and research opportunities for tribes and tribal colleges and support the Northwest Regional Native American project. The Northwest Regional Native American Project (NRNAP) seeks to coordinate and increase tribal access to Washington State Universities’ educational services through information technology. By developing distance learning programs and providing technical support for delivery to Native American communities, NRNAP will fortify and enhance delivery of university services to help Native tribes and peoples mobilize their own resources and capabilities.

Port of Walla Walla Water Project in Burbank – $750,000

The Port of Walla Walla is developing a new public water system near Burbank. Small water utilities have had difficulties providing clean, potable water to the 3,300 residents of Burbank. While the Port of Walla Walla will provide the majority of the funding necessary to develop a new public water system, these funds will help supplement those efforts. The total cost of the project is estimated at $5 million. This new water system will allow for the development of a 158-acre light industrial park in Burbank.

St. Anne’s Children and Family Center, Spokane -- $300,000

Partnering with Sacred Heart Medical Center and Gonzaga University, St. Anne’s is building a new childcare center in the University District at 5th and Browne. Increasing its capacity from 30 to 200 children, GU will schedule practicum, work study and service learning students at St. Anne’s. Additionally, SHMC will move their mildly-ill children program into St. Anne’s.

Inland Northwest Health Services in Spokane, WA -- $500,000

This funding will expand and enhance access to immediate medical consultations. The funding will help Inland Northwest Health Services install TeleER-Consult equipment in 13 small rural hospitals to allow live interaction with specialists at a larger hospital containing a state of the art Level II Trauma Care Unit. TeleER-Consult provides real time consultation with trauma care specialists for patients at smaller rural hospitals. This new technology will improve patient care in rural settings. In an emergency, timely access to trauma care is a critical in savings lives, but many smaller rural hospitals simply do not have trauma specialists on staff. TeleER Consult brings this specialty care to these small rural hospitals.

Odessa Memorial Healthcare Center -- $ 1.05 million

For renovation of emergency department, nurse call system, and Nutrition Services Department. Specifically, the funding will modernize the Emergency Department to provide security to the unit and add hazardous waste wash down capability to meet emergency services bioterrorism requirements. This $1 million investment will coupled with the $2.25 million bond approved by the community allow Odessa Memorial Hospital to modernize their facilities to respond to new bioterrorism threats; keeping the community safe and maintaining a quality health care provider.

Gonzaga University - $750,000

This funding will help Gonzaga create an engineering program for students studying electricity transmission and distribution. This cross-discipline engineering program will educate students in an expanding technical field.

Northwest Washington

Snohomish County, Sheriff Palm AFIS System -- $850,000

Twenty-six years ago law enforcement began to implement finger-imaging technology to create an electronic database of fingerprints. This technology, known as AFIS, has allowed law enforcement to solve numerous crimes. Recently, AFIS has been expanded to include palm prints. This funding will enable the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office to create its own Palm AFIS System. This project received $750,000 in FY 2004.

Edmonds Center for the Arts, Edmonds, Snohomish County -- $300,000

The funding for this regional facility will enhance the cultural life of the greater region by providing a performing arts and multipurpose center for meetings, conferences, community and sporting events, musical theater and other educational exhibitions. In the broadest sense, the facility will enhance the cultural life of the greater region which includes an educational component benefiting all communities in the greater South Snohomish and North King County areas.

Northwest Straits Commission -- $1.25 million

Senator Murray created the Northwest Straits Commission with legislation in 1998 in response to growing concerns about the declining health of marine ecosystems in the Northwest region of the state. This grassroots effort involves representatives from county, tribal, state and federal governments, non-profit organizations and volunteers who are working together to protect and restore marine resources in northern Puget Sound. These funds will enable the Northwest Straits Commission to continue its cooperative work throughout the Puget Sound area.

Cedar Green Forest Legacy and Carbon River Forest Legacy -- $2.9 Million

The Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program is a program that allows individuals to purchase and sell residential development rights from lands that provide a public benefit. Such lands include farm, forest, open space, regional trails and designated urban separator lands and habitat for threatened or endangered species. Landowners receive financial compensation without developing or selling their land and the public receives permanent preservation of the land. Transferred development rights can be used to build additional houses on other parcels in more appropriate areas. The TDR Program responds to Countywide Planning Policies, the King County Comprehensive Plan Policies and the Executive's Smart Growth Initiatives to protect resource lands, fish and wildlife habitat, provide regional trails and open space, and preserve rural character. Additionally, TDR responds to growth management objectives by focusing growth in urban areas where services such as sewer, water and transportation exist or can be readily provided.

WSU Extension Service, Beach Watchers Program – $250,000

The WSU Beach Watchers Program is a volunteer driven organization focused on protecting and raising awareness about marine resources throughout the northern Puget Sound area. Beach Watchers is managed by the WSU Cooperative Extension Program. The program’s emphasis is stewardship education, but volunteers have also gathered near shore habitat data for use by local planners. This funding will support expansion of this program into Clallam, Jefferson, Island, Snohomish, Skagit, San Juan and Whatcom Counties.

Southwest Washington

Spartina Grass Control in Willapa National Wildlife Refuge -- $1.4 Million

Located in southwestern Washington, Willapa was recently designated as Number Two on the Audubon Society’s list of the top ten locations suffering from a significant and growing threat by invasive species. Invasive species are harmful, nonnative plants, animals, and microorganisms found throughout the United States that are causing widespread damage to bird and wildlife habitat, crops, rangelands, and waterways. Willapa Bay is threatened by Spartina grass, which had rapidly infesting intertidal mudflats and salt marshes. This is the third year Willapa Bay has received federal funding to fight Spartina. In the fiscal year 2004 Interior Appropriations Bill, Murray secured $1 million for Willapa Bay, and in FY 2003, she also secured $1 million.

Centralia College, WA -- $250,000

This funding will support non-traditional worker training.

Columbia River Channel Deepening - $9 million

The bill provides $9 million for deepening of the Columbia River. This figure represents the difference between the $3 million provided by the House and the $15 million supported by the Senate.

Olympic Peninsula

Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend -- $250,000

This project is designed to enhance the working waterfront of Port Townsend and to provide a focal point for economic and tourism development. This new center will showcase the regional significance and importance of the area’s marine trades and maritime activities. The NWMC facilities will provide conference areas, classrooms and hands-on shops for vocational training, lectures, workshops and continuing education for the marine trades professional. Additionally, the NWMC will offer visitors and residents a variety of heritage and visitor services, programs and activities.


Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative -- $2 million

Washington state has one of the highest number of methamphetamine (“meth”) labs in the country. Washington state is combating the meth explosion through an intensive and pro-active approach that addresses the problem on every level. This funding will assist the effort conducted by several counties and cities throughout Washington state. The Washington state program includes the following components: intelligence, enforcement and prosecution, investigation and forensics, public health and ecology, professional training, community education and prevention, and family treatment services. In addition, the program is designed to work in conjunction with all involved federal, state and local agencies, capitalizing on collaborations and networks that already exist. This initiative received $2 million in FY 2004.

WA Assn of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, Public Building Mapping System -- $2 million

During a school incident, such as the one that occurred at Columbine High School in Colorado, emergency response needs a system that provides first responders with school floor plans, known hazards and evacuation plans. In 2001, the Washington State Legislature appropriated funds to facilitate a building mapping system for various schools in Washington state. It has been very successful. Its success, however, has caused state and local government leaders to request a building mapping system for all public buildings, not just schools. In order to initiate the public building mapping system, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) must first establish the central site. It is estimated that the total cost of developing the central site will be $3 million. This system received $250,000 in FY 2004.

Height Modernization for Washington state -- $500,000

National Height Modernization is an effort to improve the latitude, longitude, and height systems used throughout the country by relying on Global Positioning System satellites. This system will improve disaster planning, coastal and harbor navigation, road and building construction, aircraft navigation, enhanced agricultural practices and earthquake and volcano hazard assessment. This effort is being led by the Spatial Reference Center of Washington, a non-profit group, with public and private sector partners. This initiative received $500,000 in FY 2004.

Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery -- $90 million

The Coastal Salmon Recovery program was funded at $99 million in the Senate bill. Under the bill, Washington state would receive $25 million, with an additional $9 million going to Pacific Coastal Tribes, and $3 million going to Columbia River Tribes. The Washington state funding goes to the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SuRF Board), which then works with groups around the state to advance Salmon recovery projects.

Washington Education Foundation -- $500,000

This funding will replicate the foundation's mentoring/scholarship programs for low-income students. The Washington Education Foundation (WEF) has helped more than 2,000 of Washington’s disadvantaged and at-risk students gain access to higher education through mentoring and college scholarship programs. WEF’s scholars attend almost 50 colleges and universities in Washington State. Through a private-public partnership with the Gates Foundation and Costco Wholesale, WEF will now be able to create these kinds of opportunities for needy students in other states.

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction -- $175,000

This funding will support a student engagement project. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction is working with high-school students on student-led awareness-building activities to inform students about why schools are changing under standards-based reform, inform students about the new expectations for them, and to engage students in discussion of how education relates to their life outside the classroom and beyond graduation.