News Releases

Senator Murray Secures Funding Increases for Washington state Tribes

Jun 28 2001

Senate Interior Subcommittee bill includes earmarks for schools, environmental protection

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today announced $2.23 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and $2.75 billion for the Indian Health Service (IHS) as part of the 2002 Senate Interior Appropriations bill. The bill, which passed the Senate Interior Subcommittee this morning and the full Appropriations Committee this afternoon, provides earmarks for schools and management of natural resources on Washington state tribal lands.

"These funds are vitally important to the quality of life of Native American communities in Washington state and across the nation," Senator Murray said. "I am pleased that these funds have increased from last year, but there is still much work to be done to fully meet the needs of families and businesses in Indian Country."

Several programs specific to Washington state were also included in the Senate bill. The bill provides funding to build a new Paschal Sherman School on the Colville Reservation in eastern Washington and provides a $500,000 increase for tribes to review forest practices to protect fish and natural resources. President Bush proposed cutting this funding altogether. In addition, the bill provides $1 million for shellfish management and includes continued funding for the Inchelium Ferry and for Lake Roosevelt management.

The Senate bill provides BIA with $27 million more than President Bush requested and $93 million more than was included in the fiscal year 2001 budget. For IHS, the Senate bill provides $45 million more than President Bush requested and $123 million more than last year's budget.

"The President's tax cut greatly limits our ability to provide significant increases," added Senator Murray. "That's the reality we're facing as we move through the appropriations process."

"I am proud that tribes across Washington have done so well in the Senate's Interior bill, particularly given our budget constraints" Senator Murray noted. "I know that this money really does make a difference to the health and well-being of Washington's tribes, and I will continue to work to maintain and increase these funds."