U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today secured important funding to support Montana’s commerce, justice and science systems including new forest products, outdoor recreation economic impact and countering the drug epidemic in Montana.
This afternoon, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations passed the bipartisan FY2018 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
We need to prioritize spending to support efforts most important to protecting Montana families, freedoms, and jobs,” Daines stated.
Daines secured the following priorities for Montana:
Prohibiting Funds for Implementing the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), until the Senate ratifies – Daines secured this language to protect our Second Amendment rights and ensure a de-facto registry of law-abiding firearm owners is not established.
Prohibits Funds for Being Used for Agency Publicity Purposes – Daines secured language that ensures agencies are good stewards of taxpayer resources and prohibits agencies from undertaking publicity campaigns without explicit authorization from Congress.
Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Study – Daines secures language that urges completion of a study required by Daines’ bill, the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016.
Combatting Online Hotel Booking Scams – Daines secured language encouraging the Department of Justice to collaborate with the Federal Trade Commission to develop a strategy that reduces and prevents consumers from being subjected to booking scams. Senator Daines has championed similar legislation in the 114th and 115th Congresses.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership – Daines secures $130M in funding for the program as it directly supports manufacturing job creation in Montana with a positive return on investment. This includes funding for Montana Manufacturing Extension Center (MMEC) at Montana State University. It strengthens Montana small manufacturers through partnerships and guidance. MMEC has worked with nearly 1,200 of the manufacturers across the entire state.
Next Generation Broadband in Rural Areas – Daines secures language that includes identification of critical gaps in broadband access, hurdles to deployment and establishment of goals and benchmark by which to measure progress in future years.
New Forest Products – Daines secured language that encourages the Economic Development Administration to work with communities and regions that have been adversely impacted by rapid changes in the timber marketplace. The language also encourages support projects that help these communities develop related industries, including commercialization of new forest products using low-grade wood.
Native Children’s Commission – Daines secured language expressing support for needs of native children, based on Sen. Daines’ Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children’s Act.
Combatting Human Trafficking – Daines secured $45 million for services and task force activities for victims of trafficking. This funding is also available to victims of sex and labor trafficking.
Justice:Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)– Daines secured the full $2.53B in funding for the DEA to enforce the controlled substance laws and regulations and bring to the criminal and civil justice system any members of organizations involved in manufacturing or distributing controlled substances
Anti-Methamphetamine Task Forces – Daines secured $7M in funding for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office to make competitive grants to local law enforcement agencies.
Drug Courts – Daines secured $43 million for drug courts and $7 million for veterans treatment courts. Montana is home to 29 drug courts, three of which have developed veterans treatment courts dockets structure to meet the needs of veterans.
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program – Daines secured full funding, $9M, which provides specially trained and supervised citizen-advocates for child victims who are still waiting for the presence of a dependable, caring adult to speak for their best interests in the courtroom and in the community.
Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) – Daines maintained funding, $25M, for JRI. Montana recently used JRI analysis and expertise to pass nine laws modifying and strengthening its corrections system, including preserving prison space for those who pose the greatest risk to public safety, reducing jail overcrowding through deferred prosecution programs, and increasing access to behavioral healthcare and housing for those leaving incarceration. Expected savings for Montana are $69 million over the next 5 years with a commitment of a $3 million investment in the JRI suggested policies that are being enacted.
Reducing Duplication of Department of Justice Grant Programs – Daines secured language that expresses the need to ensure that government resources are appropriately targeted and that unnecessary duplication is mitigated.
Promoting Efficiency in Construction of Justice Facilities – Daines secured language that affirms that the consideration of any new prison or detention facility or facility expansion should be based upon a long-term strategic plan which incorporates robust capital planning based on best practices identified by the Government Accountability Office and the Office of Management and Budget.
Prohibit Discriminatory Funds Against Religious or Moral Beliefs of Students – Daines secured language the prohibits the Department of Justice from creating programs that would be used to discriminate against or denigrate the religious or moral beliefs of student participants.
NASA’s National Space Grant College Program (Space Grant) – Daines secured full funding, $40M, for Space Grant to “inspire the next generation of explorers” that will contribute to America’s critical science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) workforce. With this funding Montana State University conducts STEAM outreach to every Montana middle and high school as well as providing scholarship and research opportunities to Montana students.
NASA’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) – Daines secured full funding, $18M, which provides research and development (R&D) dollars to rural higher education institutes. This program has been vitally important in providing access to technical R&D opportunities for Montana university students, helping prepare them to compete in the high-tech workforce.