News Releases

Senator Murray Increases Funding for Healthcare and Education in Senate Budget Resolution

Mar 15 2007

Murray's Work Supports Largest Increase in Elementary and Secondary Education in 5 Years and $50 Million for Children's Healthcare ( SCHIP)

(Washington, D.C) - Today, U.S Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) used her position on the Senate Budget Committee to help pass a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2008 that significantly increases funding for healthcare and education. Community Health Centers, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Head Start, and Pell Grants will all benefit from the budget resolution that passed the Senate Budget Committee today. Next the resolution heads to the Senate floor. Murray is the number two Democrat on the Budget Committee.



"After years of painful cuts, we finally have a budget that matches the priorities of Washington state families," said Senator Murray. "We all want our country to be strong again, and I believe that starts with investing here at home in our schools and the health of our children."



SCHIP and Community Health Centers



The Senate Budget Resolution that Senator Murray helped draft and pass aims to fix many of the funding shortfalls in health care programs that were not fully addressed in the President's budget. The Resolution provides up to $50 billion for SCHIP over the next five years. The additional SCHIP funds will expand health coverage to an estimated six million eligible children who are not enrolled in either SCHIP or Medicaid, while maintaining coverage for all currently enrolled children. The Budget Resolution also provides funding for Community Health Centers, which provide health care to the uninsured throughout Washington state.



"I'm especially proud that we've restored funding for healthcare priorities like funding for Community Health Centers and SCHIP, which are making a tremendous difference in Washington state," said Murray. "Washington families need more help getting affordable, accessible healthcare, and this budget moves us in the right direction."



Education



The Senate Budget Resolution increases funding for the Department of Education by $6.1 billion above the President's proposed level for FY 2008. It also restores funding for higher education and rejects the President's proposed cuts, particularly to Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG), the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnerships (LEAP) program, and the Perkins Loan program. In addition, it supports an increase in the maximum Pell grant to at least $4,600 per student in 2008.



The Budget Resolution also increases funding for the Head Start program that Senator Murray has fought to support in the Senate. The Resolution increases Head Start funding by over $500 million dollars from the level called for in the President's budget.



"As a parent and a former educator, I know the federal government must be a full partner in supporting our students," Murray said. "This budget provides the largest increase for elementary and secondary education programs since 2002, and that will make a real difference for students across the country."