Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY02 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill
The Senate Appropriations Committee today unanimously approved the FY02 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill. The $123.1 billion bill provides funding nationally for school construction, the National Institutes of Health, and faith and community based initiatives. Senator Stevens has requested funding for a number of important Alaska programs, including the Denali Commission and activities funded under the Alaska Native Education Act.
“This bill contains funding for many Alaska programs including the promotion of physical education for students, facilities for rural Alaska funded through the Denali Commission and programs to enrich education activities for Alaska Native Students, funded under the Alaska Native Education Act,” Stevens said.
“The increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health keeps us on track to fulfill our commitment to double NIH funding over five years,” he added.
The bill provides $20 million for the Denali Commission, an increase of $10 million over FY01 and an increase of $20 million over the President’s request. The Denali Commission uses the funds for construction and renovation of health clinics, hospitals and social service facilities across rural Alaska.
Also included in the bill is funding for Senator Stevens’ legislation – the “Physical Education for Progress” or PEP program. Funds will be available for competitive grants to schools or community-based organizations to promote physical education and physical fitness for students.
The bill provides $33 million for activities funded under the Alaska Native Education Act. New Senate funding more than doubles FY01 funding of $15 million and makes it equal to the funds for Native Hawaiian Education. Funding is used for a wide variety of programs to enrich education activities for Alaska Native students and includes funding for the Rose Urban/Rural student exchange program of the Alaska Humanities Forum and educational activities of the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Finally, the bill provides $3.5 million for enrichment programs for institutions of higher education in Alaska that have enrollments of 20% or more Alaska Native students. This is an increase of $500,000 over FY01 funding.
The bill now goes to the Senate floor for consideration.