News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) today announced $67.5 million in funding for tribal law enforcement, prison construction and courts in the final fiscal year 2003 Commerce Justice State and the Judiciary appropriations bill. This is approximately $12 million more than President Bush requested in his 2003 budget proposal.

The bill passed the House and Senate yesterday and is expected to be signed by the President. Senator Murray has made funding key tribal programs a priority as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"It is absolutely essential for us to maintain our commitment to fight crime and strengthen court systems in Indian Country," Senator Murray said. "I am disappointed we didn't get more funding for tribal facilities construction, but I will continue to advocate for more resources for these programs to lower crime in Native American communities."

Senator Murray announced funding for the following programs in the CJSJ bill:

$35 million for Community Oriented Policing Services in Indian Country This is level funding from last year and is $5 million more than the President requested. The conference report recommends that 5 percent of these funds, or $1.75 million, be used for tribal judicial systems.

$5 million for Indian Country prison construction This is a $30 million cut in funding. President Bush proposed cutting these funds entirely in the fiscal year 2003 budget.

$12.472 million for the Tribal Youth Program, which is a slight decrease.

$8 million for Tribal Courts, also level funding. However, the $1.75 million for tribal courts in COPS will augment this account, bringing the total for tribal judicial systems in this bill to $9.75 million.

$5 million for the Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse program, which is also level funding.

$2 million in grants to implement Sections 101,102 and 103 of Title I of the Indian Tribal Justice Technical and Legal Assistance Act of 2000.

The total funding for these programs in the final CJSJ bill is $67.472 million. In contrast, the Administration had proposed $55.5 million total for these programs in its fiscal year 2003 budget proposal.