See below for statements from Reps. Don Beyer, Jennifer Wexton, Abigail Spanberger, Gerry Connolly and Bobby Scott regarding House passage of the “omnibus” budget bill earlier today. Not surprisingly, every Republican in Virginia’s U.S. House delegation voted no, because…”reasons” (in air quotes).
House Passes Omnibus Bill With Key Democratic Priorities, Local Wins For Northern Virginia
December 23, 2022 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today hailed passage of the omnibus funding bill in the House. The bill was negotiated on a bipartisan basis between Senate Democrats and Republicans and House Democrats, passed the Senate yesterday, and now heads to President Biden for signature.
The bill contained Beyer-authored and co-authored legislation as well as community project funding and other Northern Virginia wins secured by Beyer. Among Beyer’s legislation in the bill: the Legacy IRA Act, legislation to promote charitable giving, and legislation to support the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
“The bill we passed today funds robust military and economic assistance to Ukraine and our NATO allies, keeping our promise to stand with our friends in defense of democracy. And we take care of our own too, with major funding boosts that will support health care, education, child care, clean energy, scientific research and development, and much more.
“The bill contains significant funding to implement the authorized but previously-unfunded science titles of the CHIPS and Science Act, much of which we drafted in the House Science Committee. And it contains bipartisan legislation, SECURE 2.0, written by the Ways and Means Committee to strengthen retirement savings.
“There are major policy wins, most importantly in the Electoral Count Reform Act, Congress’ best bipartisan effort to prevent anyone from trying to follow in Donald Trump’s footsteps in an attempt to overturn a presidential election. And it contains the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, to prevent workplace discrimination during pregnancy.
“I am also thrilled by the inclusion of legislation I led to support charitable giving, suicide prevention, and the honoring of a beloved Northern Virginia letter carrier who we lost to Covid. And I delivered millions in funding to local community projects in Northern Virginia that will have a positive impact on our region.
“This bill did not contain everything I wanted, and I am particularly disappointed at the lack of action on the federal debt limit, the absence of an extension of the enhanced Child Tax Credit, and missing protections for wildlife and endangered species. But this bill provides robust funding for domestic and foreign policy priorities and will fund the government and prevent a shutdown all the more important with an incoming Republican House majority.”
Beyer serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the House Committee on Ways and Means. He is the outgoing Chairman of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.
Rep. Wexton Votes to Pass Government Funding Legislation to Help Economy, Families, and Communities
Legislation lowers the cost of living, creates better-paying jobs, and supports people in need
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) voted to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, a package of twelve government funding bills focused on helping families and communities across the United States. This government funding package also includes emergency supplemental funding to respond to the devastation that recent natural disasters and extreme weather events have left behind and emergency resources to support the Ukrainian people and protect global democracy. The investments in the bill will lower the cost of living for hardworking people, create better-paying jobs, and help communities and families in need.
“I’m proud that this bipartisan government funding bill will make critical investments to lower costs for working families, deliver the support our kids need to succeed, and tackle our nation’s greatest challenges at home and abroad,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I’ve worked hard to bring federal resources back to Virginia, and I’m especially pleased to have secured more than $18 million for key community projects in our district. This legislation delivers for kids and families and small businesses in every community across the country.”
The legislation includes key priorities for the district and Virginia that Wexton fought to secure through her position on the Appropriations Committee, including:
- Assessing how returnship programs, which help experienced workers re-enter the workforce after taking time off – like so many parents did during the pandemic – could strengthen the federal workforce and help attract the best and brightest to public service;
- Analyzing the state of child care for the federal workforce with the goal of improving access and quality of services for all federal employees;
- Updating federal resources for agritourism businesses and studying their educational, recreational, and economic benefits;
- Supporting secure and resilient GPS systems and investments in backup technologies, an issue Wexton has championed on the Committee;
- Funding school-based and pediatric mental health services to increase access and availability of behavioral health services for our kids;
- First ever federal funding totaling $15 million to examine the cognitive, physical, and socioemotional impacts on the health and development of children from technology and social media use, in line with the mission of Wexton’s Congressional Task Force on Digital Citizenship;
- Securing full funding for the lifesaving childhood cancer research being conducted through the Gabriella Miller Kids First program;
- Expanding access to healthy nutritious meals for families, including creating a permanent Summer EBT Program, allowing millions of kids to have access to healthy, nutritious meals during the summer;
- Expanding access to affordable, quality health care to more Americans through enhanced Medicaid funding;
- Aiding Uyghurs and other religious minorities fleeing persecution in China;
- Fully supporting Metro capital funding at $150 million; and
- Securing full funding for the Howard C. “Howie” Liebengood Center for Wellness at the U.S. Capitol Police.
Wexton championed funding for 14 community projects that will directly benefit VA-10 residents. These include:
- $2,100,000 for neighborhood job and entrepreneurship technology and research training centers for Fairfax County teens and young adults
- $1,500,000 for improved access for families to the Fairfax County Early Childhood Development and Learning Program
- $1,000,000 for the Franklin Park to Purcellville Trail improvements
- $820,000 for the George Mason University Tick-Borne Disease Diagnostic Clinic
- $1,037,519 for the George Mason University Empowered Community Partnership Center for substance use services, treatment, and associated support services
- $2,000,000 for the Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn Metro Station area pedestrian improvements
- $685,000 for the Northern Virginia Community College diesel technology certificate program
- $580,000 for the roundabout construction at Rollins Ford Road and Estate Manor Drive
- $4,000,000 for Route 7 and Route 690 (Hillsboro Road) interchange reconfiguration construction
- $160,000 for the Town of Haymarket stormwater infrastructure assessment
- $1,000,000 for the Tuscarora Crossing affordable housing developments
- $500,000 for the Valley Health System behavioral health professionals training program
- $1,500,000 for renovated and expanded Valley Health System Federally Qualified Health Clinic
- $1,529,000 for the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education for early childhood educator development programs, including scholarships
This government funding bill:
- Lowers the cost of living for hardworking people: Reduces costs by expanding child care and early learning programs to more working families, investing in America’s K-12 public schools, making college more affordable, bolstering our public health infrastructure, and protecting consumers.
- Creates better-paying jobs: Creates better-paying jobs by putting people to work rebuilding our infrastructure, helping small businesses grow and thrive, fostering the green energy jobs of tomorrow, and supporting high-quality job training and apprenticeship programs so every American can contribute and succeed.
- Helps communities and families in need: Supports people struggling to make ends meet by strengthening nutrition assistance, funding more affordable housing, fighting urgent health disparities, supporting our Veterans, and investing in rural broadband.
- Keeps our nation and our communities safe: Strengthens our national security and keeps our communities safe with robust defense funding for training and equipment to prepare for future threats and support our allies in their efforts to defend democracy and investments in diplomacy and global development, our public health infrastructure, cybersecurity, local, state, and federal law enforcement, and funding for responsible border and maritime security.
- Protects our environment: Confronts the threat of climate change through environmental enforcement and environmental justice efforts, historic investments in clean energy and climate science, and leadership in the global fight against climate change.
- Funds community projects: Responds directly to pressing needs in VA-10 by supporting underserved areas and fostering the economic development that makes communities healthier, safer, and stronger through community projects.
The bill also includes supplemental funding in response to the devastation that recent natural disasters and extreme weather events have left behind and helps families, small businesses, and entire communities get back on their feet and repair damaged infrastructure. It also provides necessary emergency funding to support the Ukrainian people and protect global democracy in the face of Russia’s continued and brutal invasion of Ukraine. Putin’s unyielding pursuit of power has led to a grievous loss of life and humanitarian devastation. Russia has committed countless war crimes, and this bill provides the Ukrainian people with the help they desperately need.
A detailed summary of the legislation is available here.
U.S. House Passes Spanberger-Led Legislation as Part of End-Of-Year Funding Deal, & More Than $22.7 Million Spanberger Secured for 15 Virginia Projects
The End-of-Year Funding Package Passed by the U.S. House and U.S. Senate Includes Spanberger-Led Provisions to Help Farmers Access Carbon Markets, Protect Tax Benefits of Retired First Responders, Combat Substance Use Disorder, Provide Refurbished Government Computers to Veterans, Students, & Seniors
The Congresswoman Successfully Pushed to Include Her “Growing Climate Solutions Act,” “Wally Bunker HELPS Retirees Improvement Act,” “Summer Barrow Prevention, Treatment, & Recovery Act,” & “Computers for Veterans and Students Act”
The Bipartisan Package Also Includes $22,753,466 for 15 Seventh District Community-Requested Projects Secured by the Congresswoman
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives to pass an end-of-year government funding bill, which includes her Growing Climate Solutions Act, Wally Bunker HELPS Retirees Improvement Act, Summer Barrow Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act, and Computers for Veterans and Students Act. Additionally, the package includes funding Spanberger secured for 15 community projects across all 10 counties of Virginia’s Seventh District, totaling more than $22.7 million.
The bipartisan funding package includes key, bipartisan provisions led by Spanberger — including her legislation to bring farmers to the table on the issue of climate change, protect a key tax benefit for retired police officers and firefighters, combat rising rates of overdose in communities across Virginia and the United States, and provide refurbished government computers to Veterans, students, and seniors. The package now moves to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law.
“I’m focused on getting things done for the Virginians I serve. And this package includes several priorities I pushed to include — such as cutting red tape that prevents farmers and ranchers from profiting through carbon markets, strengthening investments in programs to combat substance use disorder and addiction, and helping to close a significant opportunity gap for many Veterans here in Virginia,” said Spanberger. “Additionally, I am glad that this package includes my effort to protect the hard-earned health benefits of the many retired police officers and firefighters who, for too long, have been unable to access a tax benefit for their health and long-term care insurance. I was proud to support this agreement to fund critical services, protect the paychecks of millions of federal employees, and keep up the very function of our government — and I am proud that Congress went even further to pass legislation that will benefit so many across our communities.”
GROWING CLIMATE SOLUTIONS ACT
The U.S. House- and U.S. Senate-passed funding package includes a provision based on Spanberger’s bipartisan, bicameral Growing Climate Solutions Act — which Spanberger first introduced in June 2020 — to remove barriers for farmers to participate in voluntary carbon markets and help combat climate change. The provision would create a program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help solve technical entry barriers that prevent farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners from participating in the voluntary carbon credit marketplace to facilitate land-based carbon removal in agriculture and forestry. Additionally, the program would help connect landowners to private sector actors who can assist the landowners in implementing the protocols and monetizing the climate value of their sustainable practices.
The Growing Climate Solutions Act is supported by a wide range of farm groups, private companies, environmental organizations, and industry leaders in Virginia and across the country. Click here for a full list of supporting organizations.
“AFBF commends lawmakers for including several important pieces of legislation in the 2023 omnibus bill to support the role farmers and ranchers play in sustainability and recognize the hardships caused by natural disasters,” said Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation. “The revised version of the Growing Climate Solutions Act will help farmers work with USDA on climate-smart practices for voluntary, market-driven programs. Farm Bureau stands ready to continue working with both parties on the many other critical issues facing farm and ranch families.”
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce commends Congress for passing the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act as an important part of today’s omnibus bill. Through its innovative framework that rewards farmers and other land managers for taking voluntary actions to reduce emissions, this legislation would facilitate a new, cost-effective option for addressing climate change,” said Chuck Chaitovitz, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Many of our members are depending on the establishment of such voluntary offset markets to meet their ambitious climate commitments. Thanks to Sen. Braun, Rep. Spanberger, and the Senate and House Agriculture Committees for their leadership. Promoting responsible resource management through financial incentives for voluntary conservation and sustainable land-use practices is a win-win policy that will benefit American agriculture, their supply chain, the broader business community, and the environment.”
“Virginia Farm Bureau commends Congresswoman Spanberger and her colleagues on inclusion of the Growing Climate Solutions Act as part of the 2023 omnibus spending package,” said Wayne F. Pryor, President, Virginia Farm Bureau. “Farmers and forest-landowners manage the overwhelming majority of open space in this country and play a crucial role in adopting practices that naturally sequester carbon. The Growing Climate Solutions Act will help farmers work with USDA on climate-smart practices for voluntary, market-driven programs, and help solve technical entry barriers to farmer and forest-landowner participation in voluntary carbon credit markets.”
“The Virginia Agribusiness Council is pleased to see the inclusion of the Growing Climate Solutions Act in the omnibus spending package, and is thankful for the work of Congresswoman Spanberger and her colleagues in Congress to secure its passage,” said Cliff Williamson, Executive Director, Virginia Agribusiness Council. “This new law will help farm and forest landowners, who steward land and natural resources across the Commonwealth and the nation, by working with USDA to certify practices and create innovative, market-based programs to sequester carbon in a voluntary manner.”
WALLY BUNKER HELPS RETIREES IMPROVEMENT ACT
The funding package also includes a provision led by Spanberger to allow all retired police officers and firefighters to access a key tax benefit to pay for health coverage. This provision — based on Spanberger’s bipartisan legislation named for Wally Bunker, a retired police officer living in Culpeper, Virginia — would remove the requirement that pension fund distributions must go directly to the insurer to be eligible for tax-free status, and make sure that retired first responders can access a critical tax benefit to help cover health and long-term insurance.
“I cannot express how much I appreciate Rep. Spanberger’s efforts to garner bipartisan support and introduce legislation in the House that proved to be the catalyst to prod the Senate to introduce similar bipartisan legislation that rights an unfair practice,” said Bunker. “Rep. Spanberger and her wonderful staff quickly realized this was neither a Seventh District nor a Virginia issue but affected tens of thousands retired public safety personnel nationwide. Rep. Spanberger shows that she is strongly committed to helping constituents deal with government bureaucracy. I am deeply indebted to her for her tenacity and team building with the FOP, other law enforcement fraternal organizations and members of Congress from both parties to see this to a successful conclusion.”
“We are so grateful that Representatives Spanberger and Chabot were successful in their effort to include a provision amending the Healthcare Enhancement for Local Public Safety (HELPS) Retirees Act in the omnibus spending bill and we’re excited to see it pass,” said Patrick Yoes, National President, Fraternal Order of Police. “Under current law, eligible retired public safety officers may use up to $3,000 per year from their qualified government retirement plan, on a pre-tax basis, to pay for health insurance or long-term care insurance premiums. However, in order for these officers to get the pre-tax benefit, the money must be paid directly from their pension fund to a health or long-term care insurance company. This requirement has proved to be unworkable for far too many eligible public safety and its repeal will allow all officers to receive this benefit, because they will be able to make the payments themselves.”
“Fire fighters work a dangerous and demanding job that can lead to them retiring before qualifying for Medicare. Our retirees living on a fixed income shouldn’t be penalized for their service by being forced to pay staggering amounts of money for health insurance. The IAFF applauds Representative Spanberger for her persistent leadership in expanding the HELPS program to assist our retired brother and sister fire fighters afford the healthcare services they need,” said Edward A. Kelly, General President, International Association of Fire Fighters. “We also look forward to working with Congress to develop a comprehensive solution to ensure retired fire fighters have access to affordable, high-quality health insurance options. Our retired brothers and sisters have sacrificed their own health in service to others, and our nation owes it to fire fighters to ensure they keep the dignified and healthy retirement that they have earned.”
SUMMER BARROW PREVENTION, TREATMENT, AND RECOVERY ACT
The package also includes Spanberger’s bipartisan legislation to increase federal investment in programs to combat substance use disorder and addiction. The legislation — first introduced by Spanberger earlier this year — is named in memory of Summer Barrow, a young Virginian who died of a fentanyl overdose. This legislation would authorize annual funding through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to support American communities’ fight against the substance use disorder epidemic. Specifically, the bill would reauthorize several substance use disorder programs which focus on overdose prevention, first responder training, co-prescribing programs, pregnant and postpartum women substance use disorder treatment, and alternatives to opioids in emergency rooms.
“Thanks to the hard work and perseverance of Representative Spanberger and her colleagues, our family finds solace in the fact that the programs in the Summer Barrow Act will offer support — and perhaps even a better future — for those who are struggling with substance use disorder,” said Carey Colvin, Mother of Summer Barrow. “This epidemic concerns every American and has taken far too many lives, including the life of my daughter. No one actively decides to be an addict or chooses to develop mental health issues and this Act offers several avenues of treatment. There are no appropriate words to express how much we miss Summer. Like so many who have lost their struggle with substance use disorder, she would never have intentionally caused the grief that continues to envelop us. She would be comforted in knowing that she is part of a legacy that offers hope to others.”
“The National Rural Health Association (NRHA) supports inclusion of the Summer Barrow Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act in the FY 2023 appropriations package,” said Alan Morgan, CEO, National Rural Health Association. “NRHA applauds Representative Spanberger (D-VA) for her continued support on behalf of rural communities, and seeking solutions in the ongoing substance use disorder crisis. This legislation will increase access to needed services in our rural communities.”
“With more Americans dying this past year from overdose than any previous year on record, it is time to make bold investments across all levels of intervention and treatment in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Brandie Williams, Deputy Executive Director, Rappahannock Community Services Board. “The flexibility in funding provided for in The Summer Barrow Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act sends a clear message to our communities, our friends, our brothers, and our daughters experiencing addiction that you are not alone. Just as the path to recovery looks different for each individual, so should the resources and treatment options available to them. We are committed and resourced to stand beside you.”
“For Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services (RRCS), I want to thank Congresswoman Spanberger for her commitment to the members of our community, struggling with a Substance Use Disorder,” said Jim LaGraffe, Executive Director, Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services. “The Summer Barrow Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Act passage will ensure our organization can continue to provide critical services for those needing support in their recovery and also assist us in developing strategies and activities for Prevention. As we know, the lifetime odds of dying from a fatal overdose are now greater than dying in an automobile accident. This Act, and the services it supports will save lives in our community. Again, for RRCS, I thank Congresswoman Spanberger for her dedication to the people she serves.”
COMPUTERS FOR VETERANS AND STUDENTS ACT
Additionally, the end-of-year funding package includes Spanberger’s bipartisan legislation to provide computers to Veterans, students, seniors, and others in need. The end-of-year package includes the Computers for Veterans and Students Act — which Spanberger first introduced in July 2020 — that would help provide federal surplus and repairable computers to non-profit computer refurbishers who would then repair and distribute the equipment to those in need of a device.
“Veterans gave so much to this country and thankfully Tech For Troops can now give more to our Veterans and their families in need,” said Mark Casper, CEO, Tech For Troops. “With this legislation, nonprofits across the nation will be able to support so many more families. Thank you to Rep. Spanberger for championing this across the finish line!”
“The COVS Act is an important step toward digital equity,” said Shawn Daugherty, Senior Government Relations Manager, Human-I-T. “Too many American households lack access to the internet, and the tools and skills necessary to be successful online. This legislation will help provide equitable access to opportunity by ensuring that used, but still usable, government equipment is made available to those most in need. We thank Rep. Spanberger for her continued leadership on this critical issue.”
“I am pleased our 50 states and 6 territories were supportive of Rep. Spanberger’s (D-VA) legislation by all of us working with the GSA, the Congress and the Oversight and Reform Committee to make this happen,” said Sam Sibert, President, National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property (NASASP). “We participated in the bill’s progress and showed how bipartisanship can work in Washington, DC.”
COMMUNITY PROJECT FUNDING
The package also includes investments — totaling $22,753,466 — for 15 local projects across all 10 current Seventh District counties. Spanberger worked directly with county officials and community leaders to solicit these requests, move these projects forward, and ensure they were included in the final end-of-year funding package. These investments would help improve public safety, keep Virginians safe, rebuild our physical infrastructure, expand healthcare and treatment services, help create new jobs, and foster economic growth.
“Making federal resources available to the Virginia communities I serve is one of my top priorities in the U.S. Congress. Throughout the federal appropriations process, I have worked closely with local leaders to request these federal dollars for all 10 counties in Virginia’s Seventh District and move this funding forward to the president’s desk,” said Spanberger. “These investments return taxpayer dollars to our communities to directly respond to the physical infrastructure, health, and public safety needs of the counties we serve. Thank you to the many Virginians who worked with my office to move these smart, locally-driven investments forward. Securing this funding will allow us to deliver on the priorities of our communities and strengthen our regional economy — and I look forward to the president signing these investments into law.”
A summary of funding for 15 projects in Virginia’s Seventh District that passed in the U.S. House today is below.
Spanberger secured $1,000,000 for Amelia County to upgrade the existing public safety communications system to an interoperable radio system. The major deficiencies of the current radio system inhibit law enforcement and first responders from operating at full capacity and diminish their efficiency in response to calls. This investment would supply emergency communication and interoperability in areas where there is little to no coverage, as well as improve safety for officers and the community.
Spanberger secured $175,000 for the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office to purchase a virtual reality training system. This system would provide its deputies interactive training in the skills of crisis intervention, de-escalation, and use of force. Specifically, the training system would improve deputies’ decision-making and crisis response skills, improving safety for law enforcement and the community while reducing use-of-force incidents.
Spanberger secured $1,000,000 for Rappahannock Rapidan Community Services (RRCS) to expand its Behavioral Health Clinic. This investment would include renovations and additions of approximately 3,000 square feet, as well as the addition of an elevator to increase accessibility. Culpeper County and surrounding areas are currently experiencing suicide rates 30 percent higher than the Virginia average, as well as overdose rates that continue to rise above the state average. While the need for behavioral health and substance use services has increased, RRCS has outgrown the current physical space and is unable to provide additional services.
Spanberger also secured $324,494 for Culpeper County to purchase a new ambulance for the Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company. Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company is one of the few volunteer fire and rescue companies in Virginia requiring members to obtain fire and/or EMS certification, as well as the only volunteer company specializing in large animal rescue, preventing the loss of livestock in the Culpeper community and across the Commonwealth. This investment will allow for the replacement of an ambulance that reached its effective end of life and ensure that the Little Fork Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company can continue providing emergency medical services to the Culpeper community.
Spanberger secured $4,000,000 for Goochland County for the construction of a new roundabout at the Oilville Road-I-64 interchange. This funding would help build a four-way roundabout that would alleviate a major traffic blockage on I-64 that creates a safety threat to both exiting traffic and through traffic on the Interstate.
Spanberger secured $5,000,000 for Henrico County’s completion of the Lambert Way-Woodman Road Extension, which would create a second access point to Glover Park and be directly tied to Interstate 295 and Route 1. In response to increased traffic congestion in this section of Henrico County, this project would ease this congestion and allow visitors to enter and exit more smoothly. Additionally, the road would feature a 10-foot-wide bike and pedestrian path that will connect to a similar path on the extended portion of Woodman Road — and ultimately the Fall Line Trail.
Spanberger also secured $1,275,000 for Henrico County to construct bus shelters and benches at Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) transit stops throughout the County. The four main transit corridors in Henrico County are served by more than 200 bus stops — many of which do not have shelters, benches, or ADA-compliant accessibility due to a lack of sidewalks and ramps. This investment would go directly towards the installation of shelters for approximately 31 transit stops in the County and benches for approximately 50 transit stops — as well as installation of concrete pads, ADA access, and trash receptacles.
Spanberger secured $1,000,000 for Louisa County to enhance radio coverage in Holly Grove, in the southeast corner of the county. The increase in coverage would allow the county to have 100% emergency radio coverage to improve the communication between the emergency dispatch office and Louisa County Sheriff’s Deputies. This investment would enhance safety for the police, other emergency services, and the residents of the county.
Spanberger secured $1,000,000 for Nottoway County to replace its aging and unreliable public safety radio system with a modern digital radio system. The new system would include mobile, portable, and base type radios in various stations and vehicles. This investment would allow the county to determine effective locations for tower-mounted radio components to achieve the optimum radio coverage throughout the county and provide law enforcement, firefighters, EMS personnel, and other first responders with an improved level of safety while working in high-risk environments.
Spanberger secured $251,000 for the Germanna Community College Educational Foundation to purchase equipment for the newly established Robert C. O’Neill Wellness Clinic. Located on the Germanna Community College Locust Grove campus, the clinic will provide free healthcare services to uninsured or underinsured area residents, many from rural communities. Services such as screenings and referrals, dental care, physical therapy, wellness evaluations, and wellness classes will be provided by students from the Germanna Nursing and Health Technologies program, increasing the program’s capacity for students to receive clinical hours necessary for graduation.
Spanberger secured $750,000 for Powhatan County to bring Fighting Creek Park and its surrounding areas up to ADA standards. The Park offers many recreational opportunities, but access is significantly restricted for members of the public with disabilities or impairments. This investment would help upgrade existing parks, playgrounds, fields, bleachers, sidewalks, parking lots, restrooms, and concession facilities to current ADA standards.
Spanberger secured $3,452,972 for Phase 2 of Spotsylvania County’s Motts Run Water Treatment Plant expansion to meet growing water demand as the region grows. This investment would further advance the engineering in Phase 1 into the detailed design work and development of technical specifications necessary for the completion of the project. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed into law Spanberger’s legislation to provide $1,840,000 for Phase 1 of the Mott’s Run expansion.
Spanberger also secured $3,000,000 to help Spotsylvania County design and construct a new 1-million-gallon water tower to replace an existing 250,000 gallon tank. As the Massaponax and Thornburg areas of Spotsylvania County continue to experience consistent population growth, this project would increase capacity, help serve growing residential and commercial demands, and provide more fire flow duration.
Spanberger also secured $125,000 for the Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy to purchase a Virtual Reality Training Judgment Simulator. The simulator would be used in training programs conducted at the academy — which services 43 member agencies across Virginia — to increase officer confidence and proficiency in de-escalation skills and improve judgment on use-of-force decisions. This investment would enhance the academy’s ability to effectively train officers to de-escalate crisis situations, as well as reduce injuries and incidents of lethal force.
Additionally, Spanberger secured $400,000 for the Rappahannock Area Health District to obtain a fully equipped mobile health clinic. This mobile health clinic would be used throughout the community to expand clinical services and health outreach to individuals in rural communities as well as those who otherwise lack access to healthcare. This investment would help bridge this gap and protect and improve the health of the Rappahannock Area community through disease prevention, health promotion, and emergency preparedness and would provide key services such as vaccinations, testing, immunizations, clinic services, and cancer screenings.
For FY2023, the U.S. House of Representatives allowed for specific Community Project Funding requests — as it did in FY2022. Spanberger worked directly with community leaders in all 10 counties of the Seventh District to gather community-focused requests for her submissions. Click here for the full list of her submissions.
To be eligible, projects must be sponsored by local or state government entities or non-profit organizations and must be projects that would otherwise meet the qualifications to apply for federal grant funding. The purpose of Community Project Funding is to ensure direct, local engagement as part of the federal appropriations process. In line with this goal, funding applications needed to demonstrate significant local support for the projects.
Connolly Announces Community Project Funding Requests Included in FY23 Appropriations Package
Requests total more than $28,343,983
Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, announced the inclusion of fifteen of his Community Project Funding (CPF) requests in the FY 2023 omnibus appropriations package.
“I am proud to have secured more than $28 million for our community,” said Connolly. “These projects represent the cumulative efforts of Northern Virginia’s leaders in public, private, and non-profit organizations. I look forward to seeing these federal dollars put to good use addressing climate change, creating affordable housing opportunities, expanding public and mass transit infrastructure in Fairfax and Prince William Counties, and more.
“These vital investments in our region’s future are poised to meet Northern Virginians’ needs in health care, infrastructure, education, and housing,” Connolly continued. “I am grateful for the opportunity to assist in addressing some of the greatest challenges facing the 11th District of Virginia as we move on from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for our shared future.”
The House Committee on Appropriations ultimately accepted the following funding requests from Congressman Connolly, totaling $28,343,983 in direct funds for Virginia’s 11th District.
Project: Prince William County (PWC) Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Center (CRSC)
Background: This project will expand the crisis resources available to those in need of 24/7 assistance. For years, the most immediate help available to someone experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis has been the emergency department of a hospital. Individuals meeting criteria for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization have frequently had to wait hours, days, or longer for a bed to become available, and many have had to travel far from home to find a program with room for them.
The Treatment Advocacy Center, a nationally recognized non-profit dedicated to advocacy of timely and efficient treatment of the serious mentally ill, recommends a minimum of 50 inpatient psychiatric beds for 100,000 people. Northern Virginia has approximately 21 inpatient psychiatric beds per 100,000 residents, including private psychiatric hospital providers. In FY 2020, our region had 855 individuals that had to be placed outside of Northern Virginia because there were no available inpatient psychiatric beds.
This project will help establish a Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Center (CRSC) in Prince William County that will provide 23-hour crisis observation and short-term crisis residential services for up to 32 adults (sixteen 23-hour observation and sixteen crisis stabilization unit (CSU) beds) and up to 16 youths (eight 23-hour observation and eight CSU beds). Phase 1 will provide eight 23-hour observation and eight short-term CSU beds for adults. Full adult and youth services will be added as ongoing funding is identified.
This will be a regional facility for Prince William, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun. The CRSC will provide behavioral health crisis and detox services to stabilize individuals under the Crisis Now Model and connect them to ongoing community treatment services. Establishing a Crisis Receiving and Stabilization Center within Prince William County will provide immediate crisis response and treatment for individuals experiencing a behavioral health crisis, decrease the number of individuals needing inpatient psychiatric beds, reduce the time spend by law enforcement providing custody, and connect individuals to community supports for ongoing treatment needs once the crisis has been addressed.
Project: Behavioral Health Care Provider Incentive Program
Background: This program will provide eligible students and behavioral healthcare providers with financial assistance for education, contingent on recipients’ employment in a provider position for a minimum of three years at the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB). This program will allow for a variety of behavioral health and developmental disability students and practitioners to receive financial assistance for education from Fairfax County in exchange for providing service to the CSB. This program will help to address the unprecedented workforce issues being faced by the CSB and will be targeted primarily towards hard-to-fill positions that require either certificates or Associate Degrees, including positions such as registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). There are more than 200 vacant positions at the CSB and not enough qualified candidates to meet the current workforce needs. This program will help fill these vital positions and train the next generation of healthcare providers for Fairfax County.
Project: Saving Lives and Decreasing Health Disparities
Background: This funding will help make mental health more accessible and comprehensive for those struggling in unorthodox or exceptional circumstances. Accurate assessment and identification of youth mental health difficulties is essential for reducing mental health problems. Without proper assessment, mental health conditions can be misdiagnosed or even overlooked, leading to increased suffering, a need for longer and more intensive treatments, increased emergency services and hospitalizations, and even the loss of life to suicide. This project will (a) train clinicians working with Community Service Boards in Northern Virginia who serve diverse low-income youth and families, and their clinical supervisors, using low- and no-cost, culturally sensitive, and evidence-based assessments that can be readily employed in community mental health settings; and (b) help administrators effectively implement use of these assessments across their organizations so that all clients may benefit from their use. The project’s focus on culturally sensitive assessments will also contribute to decreases in disparities in access to high quality behavioral healthcare for diverse and lowest income youth and families.
Project: North Woodbridge Pedestrian Bridge
Background: This project consists of designing and constructing a pedestrian bridge across a busy six-lane section of US Route 1 to connect the planned North Woodbridge Town Center to transit, bus and rail options at the Woodbridge VRE Station. North Woodbridge is a Metropolitan Planning Organization designated Regional Activity Center located along the Route 1 and I-95 corridors in a Transit Access Focus Area. This project is part of a larger effort to create safely walkable mixed-use communities and serves as a key connection between Equity Emphasis Areas (those with high concentrations of low-income and minority populations) and development on the east and west sides of Route 1. Additionally, the new pedestrian bridge will comply with the American with Disability Act standards for accessibility. This project will help pedestrians avoid dangerous intersections, bolster the Woodbridge economy, and save lives in the process.
Project: Sunrise Valley Cycle Track Innovation to Herndon
Background: The project will complete several bicycle and pedestrian improvements to increase mobility and enhance accessibility to the Metrorail Silver Line stations. This includes creating protected intersections and reconstructing Sunrise Valley Drive from Innovation Station to the Fairfax County Parkway to provide a cycle track. The project will substantially improve safety for bicyclists and pedestrians alike within Herndon and Reston, a growing center of economic activity projected to provide approximately 220,000 jobs in the Reston Transit Station Area by 2050. Further, those living, working, and visiting in the area will be able to better access the Metro, enhancing connectivity to the entire Metro service area.
Project: Envision Route 7 Bus Rapid Transit.
Background: This funding will help complete all planning and environmental studies necessary to start design and construction of the Envision Route 7 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), a project that will connect the diverse communities along the VA Route 7 corridor with high-quality, frequent transit service from Alexandria to Tysons, Virginia. Route 7 is already the second-busiest bus transit corridor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This BRT project will provide a reliable and affordable transportation option for communities along this corridor; provide a green transportation option that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help in the battle against climate change; reduce congestion along a key transportation corridor in Northern Virginia already benefitting from significant economic development and investment; leverage a range of federal, Commonwealth, regional, and local transportation funds; connect major employment centers (U.S. Department of Defense Mark Center, Bailey’s Crossroads, Seven Corners, West Falls Church and Tysons); and further enhance a robust and growing transit system in Northern Virginia.
Project: Renovations/Improvements to the Little River Glen Senior Center
Background: The Little River Glen Senior Center provides recreational activities for adults ages 50 and over. The programs and activities are as diverse as the needs and interests of the community they serve. Meals and transportation options are provided as well as access and referrals to both government and community-based resources for residents in need. The Little River Glen Senior Center already sees heavy use by the adjacent senior affordable housing and surrounding community. This project will fund hard construction costs to assist with renovations and to replace and improve outdated systems. The project will update the space to meet the current needs of the senior community. Senior centers are one of the most important resources for our aging community. They are more than just a space for seniors to meet. Senior centers promote healthy aging by helping seniors stay active and independent and serve as a meeting center for older adults.
Project: Securing the Nation’s Cyberinfrastructure
Background: The funding will help establish a first-in-the-nation Center of Excellence in Government Cybersecurity Risk Management and Resilience. The Center will directly support and advance cybersecurity leadership and governance across the U.S. federal government by developing and providing career-long cybersecurity and IT modernization learning opportunities for federal government IT and cyber executives and middle managers; acting as a strategic partner in federal government cybersecurity and IT modernization efforts; translating state-of-the-art research on technology modernization and cybersecurity into federal government practice; collating and disseminating best practices on federal government agency cybersecurity; and fostering U.S. government cybersecurity organizational capacity. George Mason’s College of Engineering and Computing, School of Business, and Institute of Digital InnovAtion (IDIA) will develop and operate the Center of Excellence. The Center’s objective will be to support federal government cybersecurity efforts by strengthening and fostering current best practices in IT and cybersecurity leadership and governance. These activities leverage Mason’s leadership of the Northern Virginia Regional Node of the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative and a rich cyber infrastructure at Mason’s IDIA that integrates transdisciplinary centers and living labs with broad and deep interdisciplinary expertise across all facets of cybersecurity research, governance, policy, and education.
Project: I-66 Trail/Vienna Metrorail Station Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
Background: This project will construct bicycle and pedestrian improvements from Blake Lane to near the entrance of the Vienna Metro I-66 westbound ramp. Improvements include a shared-use path along the south side of Sutton Road and a two-way cycle track and sidewalk along the south side of Country Creek Road and Virginia Center Boulevard. This project will improve access for pedestrians and bicyclists to the Vienna Metrorail Station and Oakton High School. It is in the heart of a regional activity center, is part of an equity emphasis area, and represents a link in the National Capital Trail Network. The Vienna Metro Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements project, when finished, will provide a key connection to the larger planned I-66 parallel trail network, which will provide more than 11 miles of connectivity from Gallows Road, Dunn Loring to Centreville in Fairfax County; connect to some of the area’s major regional trails, such as the W&OD Trail, to provide improved mobility and travel choices; and create additional connections along new bridges over I-66 that will better serve cyclists and pedestrians.
Project: Career Readiness and Job Training for Fairfax County Youth
Recipient: Fairfax County Government
Background: This funding will enable Fairfax County, through the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS), to create neighborhood job and entrepreneurship technology and research centers for teens and young adults at the County’s community centers, teen centers, and Neighborhood Initiative Sites. These centers will provide teens and young adults with career readiness skills, job training, and leadership programs, as well as access to an increased range of technology and non-traditional careers and in-demand programs. These training programs will target underserved communities in Fairfax County, many of which have been affected by generational poverty exacerbated by the pandemic.
In partnership with the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (JDRDC), the County will provide enhanced workforce development services to youth who have been mandated by the courts to pay restitution, generally for offenses such as shoplifting and destruction of property. Often, these youth have never been employed and do not have the skills needed to make themselves employable. Without these skills, they remain unemployed and unable to make these payments, in turn defaulting on their judgements. Consequently, their time involved with the juvenile justice system is extended, often with additional judgements filed against them. This program will provide young people with the training to not only make healthier choices for themselves and their careers, but to acquire the skills they need to begin their journey into the adult workforce.
This investment will also strategically integrate social innovation programs that support inclusive prosperity for youth through economic mobility strategies, leadership, civic engagement, mental health, and mentorship, with the goal of interrupting the cycle of generational poverty by prioritizing economic mobility and inclusive prosperity for all. This program will focus on a continuum of services that increases young people’s ability to create equitable pathways to individual and community success. Circumstances beyond one’s control can disrupt or limit youths’ ability to explore and pursue different careers, and this program seeks to help put the power to shape their futures back in our children’s hands.
Project: Increasing the Number and Diversity of Nursing Graduates and Equipping them for Success
Background: This project will provide Northern Virginia Community College’s Medical Education Campus (MEC) with $2,200,000 to expand the growth of their nursing program, with the goal of increasing the number of registered nurses (RNs) entering the workforce annually, and to acquire computerized mannequins and other technology to support or supplement required clinical training for nursing, respiratory therapy, and EMS students. This project will immediately increase the capacity of the nursing program and will hopefully yield an as many as 50 graduates annually to the region’s healthcare workforce, helping to address Northern Virginia’s growing nursing shortage, which was exacerbated by the pandemic.
This project will also help close the racial and ethnic diversity gap that exists in the healthcare workforce by graduating more People of Color from the License Practical Nursing to Registered Nursing program. According to labor force statistics, Woman of Color are disproportionately represented in LPN jobs compared to RNs and healthcare occupations in general (2x) and the labor force overall (5-6x), a disparity this program seeks to address head-on, ensuring the graduation of highly competent healthcare providers by securing the best learning resources for use during their training.
Project: Early Childhood Development and Learning
Background: This project will expand Fairfax County’s Early Childhood Development and Learning Program (ECDLP) by providing access to early childhood education services for approximately 72 additional young children, ages birth to five years, in programs located in community-based settings (the number of children is dependent upon the care level – infant, toddler and preschool). In addition, these funds will be used to hire two additional staff members who will determine eligibility, process enrollment, and provide case management for participating families. Access to affordable, quality early childhood programs is a key strategy for supporting parents who are struggling to engage in the economy and take part in the workforce. This program helps address the current labor shortage across most employment sectors by extending parents who would otherwise have to stay at home the opportunity to participate in the workforce while their children receive the benefits of an early education. In turn, the program prepares young children for school and future workforce success, which provides long-term returns for Fairfax County and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Project: Homeless Navigation Center – Eastern Prince William County
Background: This project will help establish a Homeless Navigation Center in eastern Prince William County, which will provide overnight, temporary, emergency sheltering and wrap-around services for up to 50 adults experiencing homelessness. Providing drop-in opportunities, emergency shelter, meals, showers, laundry facilities, educational opportunities, hypothermia sheltering, case management, behavioral therapy, job training, medical assessments and other support needed on an individualized basis can make the difference between persistent homelessness and moving to permanent housing and, ultimately, self-sufficiency. Access to Rapid Re-Housing, Permanent Supportive Housing and Long-Term Care will be made available, as will access to public benefits. A homeless drop-in center will also be part of the programming. The new 30,000 square-foot facility will provide for increased cooperation and coordination between community partners to address individuals’ needs. This center will be a critical resource in our community’s effort to end homelessness.
Project: The Lamb Center Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative
Background: The Lamb Center (TLC) Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative will be unique to the central Fairfax County and Fairfax City region. Fairfax City will work with TLC to build a facility that includes 54 efficiency-style living units within one block of the current TLC day shelter. Residents will receive on-site case management and other wrap-around support. Case managers will help each tenant formulate and achieve individual goals such as securing veterans’ benefits, earning income from work, improving physical and mental health conditions, and maintaining housing. Case managers will also provide skills training to improve individuals’ abilities to budget, manage medication, maintain employment, and develop positive social supports. Because the new facility will be in close proximity to The Lamb Center day shelter, current services will be leveraged with additional services at the new housing facility. More than 1,000 people experience homelessness every day in Fairfax County and Fairfax City. Over 60,000 people in Fairfax County and Fairfax City live below the poverty level, and more than 10,000 people per year need emergency housing assistance to prevent them from becoming homeless. Individuals in our community rely on The Lamb Center for the support they need to get back on their feet and this new center will be a critical resource for helping more people who could not otherwise find stable housing.
Project: Housing Program Participant Information Digitization/Imaging
Background: Currently, much of the data related to participants in the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s (FCRHA) federal housing programs is maintained in hard copy. This project will help FCRHA digitize/image hard copy housing program client files in order to provide more efficient access to client information, improving customer service, and allow for more robust telework options for staff, in keeping with the FCRHA’s obligations under the federal Privacy Act. The project will improve customer service and protect data privacy for the more than 5,000 participating Fairfax County families in the federal Housing Choice Voucher program.
Scott Votes for Appropriations Funding Package
December 23, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, voted to pass the government funding appropriations package for FY 2023. This legislation includes funds to invest in jobs, education, the environment, shipbuilding, national security, as well as a number of important community projects in Hampton Roads.
“This appropriations package makes critical investments in our communities and will be a big boost for Hampton Roads,” said Congressman Scott. “This bill will make important increased investments in the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program, which I just helped lead the re-authorization of with bipartisan legislation. The funding package also includes investments in our national defense and shipbuilding and will provide necessary aid to Ukraine, as well as providing critical funds to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, I was proud to have secured over $35.6 million in funding for community projects across Virginia’s third congressional district that will improve the quality of life for many residents in Hampton Roads.”
The legislation includes funding for the following community projects secured by Congressman Scott that will directly benefit Virginia’s Third Congressional District:
- $1,594,355 for An Achievable Dream, Newport News, supplemental recovery supports
- $11,250,000 for the removal of toxic sediments at Money Point, Chesapeake
- $1,000,000 for mental health programming at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters,
- $3,000,000 for the City of Norfolk LED Streetlight Upgrades
- $3,000,000 for the Dr. Clarence V. Cuffee Community Center Aquatic Facility, Chesapeake
- $2,500,000 for the City of Franklin to reconstruct the Armory to serve as a community center
- $760,000 for the Gun Violence and Violent Crime Reduction Initiative in Newport News
- $4,600,000 for the Hampton Gun Violence Intervention Program
- $850,000 for the Hampton Roads Workforce Council Training System
- $2,200,000 for Hampton University’s Workforce Development and Allied Health Services Program
- $807,137 for the Portsmouth Community Health Center for a Traveling Vehicle for Good Dental Health
- $677,000 for the Soundscapes to expand access to arts education to more students
- $687,680 for the STEMConnect: NASA STEM Literacy & Community Enrichment at the Virginia Air and Space Center
- $750,000 for the Tyler’s Beach Harbor/Marina Facility Improvements in Isle of Wight
- $2,000,000 for infrastructure improvements for the YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas
For full descriptions and amounts requested from these projects, please click HERE.
As Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Scott celebrated provisions of the omnibus that will improve the lives of students, workers, and families.
“I am particularly pleased the package makes sizable investments in early childhood through post-secondary education,” noted Congressman Scott. “The bill seeks to improve access to early learning and child care programs by increasing funding for Head Start programs and the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Additionally, the package includes an $850 million increase in funding for Title I schools to help address long-standing inequities in education, and permanently repeals a law that restricts the use of federal funds to promote school integration. And finally, by raising the maximum Pell Grant award by $500 and increasing investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions, more students will be able to reap the benefits of a college degree.”
“We were also able to take steps to address child hunger,” continued Congressman Scott. “Importantly, the bill includes a provision from the Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids Act, that permanently authorizes the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (Summer EBT) program, which will help 29 million children access healthy meals throughout the summer. Although this proposal falls far short of the comprehensive reauthorization that America’s children and families deserve, I am grateful we will be able to make some progress toward our ultimate goal of eliminating child hunger. Also, of note, for the first time in more than a decade, we were able to secure an increase in funding for the National Labor Relations Board, which helps defend workers’ rights to organize and bargain for higher pay, better benefits, and safer working conditions. Although this increase is not nearly enough to fully recover and scale back from the previous decade of flat funding, it staves off layoffs and permits the NLRB to continue its important work. Moreover, the omnibus includes a notable increase in funding for our nation’s workforce development programs, such as Registered Apprenticeships. These types of investments are not only good for workers, but also employers and our economy.”
“Furthermore, the omnibus includes proposals to protect the health and well-being of pregnant workers and working mothers,” concluded Congressman Scott. “The first is the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act, which ensures mothers have the privacy and time to pump at work. And the second is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which will ensure pregnant workers have a clear pathway to receiving reasonable accommodations in the workplace. Unfortunately, the Senate incorporated a religious entity exemption from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to PWFA that I strongly oppose. My concern is this language may be interpreted as allowing religious employers to justify other discriminatory actions against pregnant workers beyond denying them accommodations. And, finally, this package includes the SECURE 2.0 Act, which incorporates provisionsthat the House passed and our Committee approved. These provisions make several sensible improvements to our nation’s retirement system and will help more Americans prepare for and achieve the secure retirement they deserve.”
Further information on the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations Act can be found HERE.