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Senate Appropriators Approve Murkowski Amendment to Fund a $3.4 Million Denali Commission Jobs Program

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Labor, Health and Education Appropriations Bill that Includes $20.1 Million for Alaska Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate appropriations today approved an additional $3.378 million for a Denali Commission job training program as part of a Fiscal Year 2010 appropriations bill that cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee today, according to U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

The Obama administration had zeroed out funding for Denali job training in its proposed FY 2010 federal budget. But Murkowski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, persuaded her fellow panel members to add the job training amendment to the $163.1 billion funding bill for the labor, health and education departments. The bill now moves to the Senate floor for consideration.

Funding for the Denali Commission captured the largest share of the $20.1 million in Alaska specific projects, at $13.4 million. In addition to the $3.4 million for job training, the legislation included $10 million to support Denali Commission health facility projects and economic development activities.

“This bill will provide critical resources for a variety of education and health care projects across Alaska, including money for vocational training and training for dental health care workers,” Murkowski said.

The bill also provides funding for the following Alaska items:

· Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage -- $2 million for training dental health care workers

· Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Anchorage -- $1 million for facilities and equipment

· City of Ketchikan -- $1 million for facilities and equipment at Ketchikan General Hospital

· Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Consortium, Bethel -- $1 million for facilities and equipment

· Avant-Garde Learning Foundation, Anchorage -- $500,000 for education activities

· Maniilaq Association, Kotzebue -- $500,000 for facilities and equipment

· Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Juneau -- $308,000 to expand vocational training including distance learning

· Anchorage Project Access -- $125,000 for a program in which doctors donate their services to those most in financial need

· City of Anchorage -- $125,000 for facilities and equipment relating to public health

· United Way of Anchorage -- $100,000 to continue the Alaska 211 phone number that connects individuals with health and human resources 24 hours a day

· Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska, Anchorage -- $100,000 for a mentoring demonstration project.

The appropriations bill also continues funding for the Alaska Native Education Equity assistance program, which addresses severe educational handicaps of Alaska Native schoolchildren. The amount for FY 2010 is $33.315 million, the same as was appropriated in the current fiscal year. Language in the bill would allow this funding to also be used for construction needs of rural schools.

July 30, 2009

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