News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced critical federal funding for Washington state priorities in the fiscal year 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill. 

Due to the threat of Presidential vetoes of America’s domestic spending priorities, Congress combined several appropriations bills into one large “Omnibus bill,” which should pass both houses this week.  The Omnibus package contains critical funding for national needs like transportation, homeland security, education, labor and health.

"This federal support is the seed money that helps our communities grow," said Senator Murray. "I am proud to have helped steer this funding to community-supported projects here at home.  I work everyday to ensure that even though our state's residents are 2,500 miles from D.C., their needs are up-front and center. At a time when domestic and local needs are too often being neglected, these worthy projects are getting the support they deserve."

This spending bill is expected to be cleared by the U.S. House of Representatives tonight and sent to the Senate tomorrow.

Below are the projects included for Washington state. They are separated by project type:

Commerce and Justice Projects

Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative – $1,804,800
The Washington State Methamphetamine Initiative (WSMI) is used by law enforcement, treatment, and prevention groups to fight methamphetamine in every county of Washington state.  The program supports a comprehensive approach to meth education, prevention, enforcement, and treatment and includes everyone from law enforcement, to government, to health workers.  This funding is crucial in addressing new threats, including growing meth trafficking from Canada and a dramatic increase in crystal meth through Mexican cartels.  

Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) – $67,000,000
The PCSRF restores endangered and listed stocks of Pacific salmon through the improvement and expansion of salmon habitats.  It also supplements existing state, tribal and local programs that foster partnerships in salmon and steelhead recovery and conservation.

WASPC DNA Stranger Rape Program – $961,150
This funding supports the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chief’s (WASPC) DNA Stranger Rape program.  Because of backlogs, it used to take months or even years to test DNA from unsolved rape cases, but under the WASPC program, DNA is being tested within days of the crime and results are being released within 30 days of testing.

Labor Projects

In-Demand Scholars --$ 383,186
This funding will help build a higher skilled workforce in Washington state. The funding will be used to help expand the Washington Workforce Association's (WWA) In Demand Scholars program. The program prepares students to enter local, high demand occupations through outreach to local employers, job shadowing, internships, and scholarships for post-secondary training.

Agriculture Projects

Northwest Center for Small Fruit Research -- $326,697
The primary goal of the Northwest Center for Small Fruit Research is to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the small fruits industry in the Pacific Northwest and this funding will provide peer reviewed and competitively awarded small fruits research.

Agriculture Research Service (ARS) Projects
Senator Murray also worked to restore $6.5 million in proposed Bush Administration cuts for Agriculture Research Projects that will benefit all of Washington state. View a list of those projects.