Whitehouse Secures Funding to Increase Pell Grants and Address the Opioid Crisis
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) voted yesterday to pass the 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which will provide inflation relief to families across Rhode Island, invest in local communities, address the climate crisis, and strengthen our national security.
“This bill delivers significant support for Rhode Island as we continue to work to save lives from addiction and make college more affordable for working families,” said Senator Whitehouse. “As a whole, this bill will help boost Rhode Island’s economy and make much-needed investments that position our state for success.”
Whitehouse, who authored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), secured $394 million for CARA-authorized programs, an increase over FY22 levels. CARA, signed into law in 2016, is the law guiding the federal response to the opioid addiction crisis. A longtime champion for treatment and recovery, Whitehouse also cheered inclusion of $111 million for Medication Assisted Treatment in the Omnibus.
Whitehouse successfully advocated to increase the maximum federal Pell Grant award to $7,395 annually. This year’s $500 increase follows a $400 jump last year. When the program was created by Rhode Island’s legendary Senator Claiborne Pell, the grants covered about 80 percent of the average four-year public college tuition cost. Today, Pell Grants have fallen behind the rapid increase in college tuition costs. This increase will provide relief and opportunities to students and families across the state.
Whitehouse’s bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act was also included in the funding legislation. The legislation will break down barriers for farmers and foresters interested in participating in carbon markets, so they can be rewarded for climate-smart practices.
Other Whitehouse-backed measures include:
- $700 million for combatting violence against women, a record funding amount.
- $104.1 million for Climate Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes, an increase of $28.6 million.
- $39.5 million for Ocean, Coastal and Great Lakes Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes.
- $761 million for NOAA research, an increase of 17.5 percent, for climate research and critical high-performance computing upgrades necessary for climate modeling.
- $13,000,000 increase for National Marine Fisheries Service to address consultation and permitting, stock assessment, management, and protected resources needs related to the expansion of offshore wind energy projects.
- $10 million for Direct Air Capture and Blue Carbon Removal Program under the SEA FUEL Act.
- $25 million for the National Institute for Undersea Vehicle Technology, including $11 million in funding for other undersea vehicle research.
- $42.8 million for the Offshore Renewable Energy Program, an increase of more than $6 million.
- $50 million for programs to reduce ocean plastic pollution and other marine debris.
- $10 million for health systems research on how best to deliver patient-centered, coordinated care to those living with Long COVID, including the development and implementation of new models of care to help treat complex symptoms.
- $15 million for Pancreatic Cancer research.
- $125.4 million for Senior Corps, an increase of $3 million.
- $56.4 million for the Senior Companion Program, an increase of $2 million.
- $55.1 million for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, an increase of $1.15 million
- $10 million for the Textile Industry to support defense application funding.
- $410 million for HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes, to remediate lead-based paint from over 25,000 low-income households.
- $7.67 billion to support childcare in Rhode Island through the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and nearly $12 billion for Head Start.
- $5 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families pay energy bills.
- $1.01 billion for the Mental Health Block Grant, an increase of $150 million over FY22.
- $13.4 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, $28.5 billion for Child Nutrition Programs, and $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.
Meaghan McCabe, (401) 453-5294
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