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In first wave of FY24 government funding bills, PA Senior Senator advances nutrition assistance, anti-fentanyl programs, infrastructure funding, veterans’ health care

Additionally, Casey secures $172.5 million for 142 Pennsylvania community projects

Bill heads to President’s desk to become law

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that several provisions he advocated for have advanced through the Senate as part of the first wave of government funding bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. These include anti-fentanyl initiatives and substance abuse treatment programs, infrastructure and economic development funding, veterans’ health programs, and child nutrition funding. Additionally, Senator Casey fought to secure funding directly for 142 community projects in Pennsylvania, totaling $172,496,965.

“I’m fighting to ensure that when Pennsylvanians send their tax dollars to Washington, Congress invests it right back into their communities,” said Senator Casey. “Through this bill, I’ve worked to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing Pennsylvanians—from stopping the flow of fentanyl into our Commonwealth, to investing in better roads, bridges, and waterways to spur job creation, to ensuring our veterans receive the benefits they’ve earned.”

The spending package, passed 75-22, includes six of the 12 funding appropriations bills needed to pass to fully fund the government and continue critical programs. The legislation includes numerous priorities important to Pennsylvania in the following categories: transportation and infrastructure, public safety and security, economy and community development, trade, veterans’ issues, nutrition, and more. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Wednesday. Now that it has cleared the Senate, it heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

Direct Community Project Funding across Pennsylvania

Senator Casey secured $172.4 million for 142 projects across Pennsylvania. The projects include community revitalization, infrastructure construction and restoration, health facility expansion in the Commonwealth. A full list of the 142 projects can be found HERE. Examples of projects include:

  • Building Homes for Lower Income Veterans in Westmoreland County: Senator Casey secured $1 million for the Allegheny Valley Habitat for Humanity Veterans Village Housing project in Westmoreland County. The project will build new homes for lower income veterans in New Kensington. The new homes would be built sustainably and provide affordable homeownership with a zero percent interest rate.
  • Upgrading the Allentown Police Department’s Vehicles and Drug Detection Technology: Senator Casey worked in partnership with Senator Fetterman and Representative Wild to secure $963,000 to support the Allentown Police Department purchasing new police cruisers, as well as new technology to reduce the risk of officer injuries when testing and processing illegal drugs, and other technology to assist with photographing and processing crime scenes.
  • Cleaning Up Blighted Land in Erie: Senator Casey secured $1,000,000 for the City of Erie’s Love Your Block initiative which offers grants for projects that revitalize the city’s neighborhoods, from repurposing vacant and blighted lots to cleaning up litter and illegal dumping.
  • Rehabilitating the Johnstown Flood Museum: Senator Casey secured $500,000 for the Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s Flood Museum Infrastructure Modernization Project. The project will rehabilitate the aging Johnstown Flood Museum and support future planned collections and exhibitions upgrades by restoring exterior features and upgrading HVAC and electrical equipment. 

Economy, Jobs, Manufacturing, and Community Development

  • Investing in Appalachia, Energy Communities, and Local Economies: The bill provides $200 million for the Appalachian Regional Commission, including millions in dedicated funding for Pennsylvania’s Appalachian communities which Senator Casey protected. The bill also includes dedicated funding to support economic growth in energy communities, including $75 million for Assistance to Coal Communities and $5 million for the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization.
  • Investing in American Innovation and Economic Hubs: The bill appropriates over $400 million dollars to the Economic Development Administration to support economic growth throughout the country, including $41 million for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs program, which previously provided a $400,000 grant to further develop the manufacturing sector in North Central Pennsylvania and designated Southeastern Pennsylvania as a hub for life sciences.
  • Investing in Manufacturing and Supply Chains: Senator Casey secured $175 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program to boost manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania by helping manufacturers, from advanced medical devices to steel products, optimize their production and distribution by identifying potential suppliers and new markets. Since the MEP began, the program has helped more than 150,000 manufacturers create and retain over 1.5 million jobs nationwide and generate more than $144.4 billion in sales.
  • Sustaining Support for Community Development: The bill appropriates significant funding for the Community Development Block Grant formula program, which provides annual grants to states, cities, and counties to support community development, develop affordable housing, and expand opportunity for low- and moderate-income families.

Public Safety and Security

  • Combatting the Fentanyl & Drug Crisis: The bill funds the COPS anti-heroin task force program at $35 million and the COPS anti-methamphetamine task force program at $16 million. It also provides $420 million to fund the Anti-Opioid and Substance Abuse Initiative, including specialized court programs like drug, mental health, and veteran treatment courts and substance abuse treatment programs administered by state and local correctional facilities.
  • Supporting Law Enforcement: This bill funds the COPS Hiring Program at $256 million, which will hire more than 2,000 additional police officers across American communities. It also includes $32 million for body-worn cameras, $30 million for bulletproof vests, and $7 million for rural law enforcement needs.
  • Violence Prevention: This bill provides $50 million for the Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI). This funding follows the $350 million for CVIPI programs appropriated from the previous two appropriations bills and the Casey-backed Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.


  • Honoring Our PACT Act: The legislation fully funds the Toxic Exposures Fund for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. The fund was created by the Casey-backed PACT Act to cover the cost of health care related to toxic exposures.
  • VA Medical Care: The bill provides $121 billion for VA medical care, a $2.3 billion increase over the previous fiscal year, to provide essential health services for more than 9.1 million veterans. The funding includes $343 million for rural health, $2.4 billion for caregivers, $990 million for women’s health, $16.2 billion for mental health, and $23 million for child care while veterans attend medical appointments.
  • Commitments to Veterans with Disabilities: Senator Casey specifically secured report language that recognizes the need to better serve veterans and employees with disabilities and strongly encourages the VA to take steps to do so. The language also requires the VA to complete a report on the feasibility of creating an Advisory Committee on Equal Access to ensure compliance with disability laws.
  • Benefits Administration: The bill appropriates $3.9 billion, a $36 million increase over fiscal year 2023, to administer benefits—including disability compensation benefits—to 6.6 million veterans and their survivors. These funds will support the VA’s efforts to increase the number and scope of claims while decreasing the claims backlog. This is supported by additional funding previously appropriated to the Cost of War Toxic Exposures Fund to enhance VA’s ability to process veteran claims related to toxic exposures.
  • Veteran Homelessness: The bill provides $3.1 billion to tackle veteran homelessness.


  • Improving Child Nutrition: This spending bill fully funds the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at $7.03 billion, $1.03 billion more than the previous fiscal year’s funding. This will help nearly 7 million women, infants, and children access the healthy food they need. Senator Casey and a bipartisan group of senators and representatives urged congressional leadership to fully fund the critical program. Additionally, the bill funds child nutrition programs, like the National School Lunch Program, school breakfast program, Summer EBT, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program, as well as SNAP at $122.4 billion with no new restrictions on eligibility.

Transportation and Infrastructure

  • Investing in Safety and Emergency Response after Train Derailments: The bill includes a $27.3 million increase for the Federal Railroad Administration’s safety and operations budget, which will fund more rail safety inspectors to help ensure no community has to suffer through the aftermath of a dangerous derailment. The bill also includes funding to support emergency planning and training as well as requires new safety research into the systems and protocols that were involved with the 2023 Norfolk Southern derailment.
  • Investing in Pennsylvania’s Waterways and Economic Growth: In a step towards the realization of his WATERWAYS Act, Senator Casey secured language in the bill directing the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization to convene stakeholders to discuss waterway freight diversification and economic development in the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela River Corridor. This task force will help connect riverfront communities with federal resources from laws like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Defending Against Devastating Cuts to Passenger Rail: The bill appropriates over $2 billion for Amtrak to sustain operations, a clear rejection of House proposed cuts that would have devastated passenger rail service throughout the country.