Bill targets $485 million to Hawai'i
Hawai'i stands to receive $485 million from initiatives included in the omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2004, U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye, D-Hawai'i, announced yesterday.
House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on the measure, but full congressional approval is pending.
"This massive bill provides funds for programs on every island," Inouye said in a press release. "It covers justice, commerce, agriculture, labor, education, health, housing, and transportation."
The statement added that the legislation will aid the fight against crystal meth on the Big Island and Kaua'i. It would support a new visitor center for the Maui Humpback Whale Sanctuary; continue agricultural programs on Moloka'i; and revive training and community development initiatives on Lana'i.
On O'ahu, money would go to support the Honolulu Police Department's crime lab and the East-West Center, Inouye said.
More than one-third of the money is devoted to transportation, with the state receiving more than $150 million from the Federal Highway Administration and approximately $30 million from the Federal Transit Administration for transportation-related programs.
Education is another area of emphasis, with the state Department of Education benefiting from $40.7 million in impact aid, part of a larger amount recommended by Congress for such programs nationwide.
Impact aid provides support to school districts with students who are dependents of members of the armed forces and federal government employees.
Additionally, $33.5 million is being directed to Native Hawaiian Education. Money also would be made available to the DOE to repair and renovate public schools with high percentages of Native Hawaiians.
Among projects receiving significant financing, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would receive $12 million to support its design process for a consolidated facility to house representatives from all of NOAA's programs under a single roof.
Also, the East-West Center would receive $17.5 million for ongoing programs.
The Hawai'i County Comprehensive Methamphetamine Response program would receive $4.5 million to expand to Kaua'i, and possibly to Moloka'i and Lana'i, in the fight against drug use.