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In second wave of FY24 government funding bills, PA Senior Senator advances child care funding, support for law enforcement and border patrol, and initiatives to uplift workers and small businesses  

Additionally, Casey secures $30 million for 60 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 second wave of government funding bills for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024. These include funding for law enforcement and border patrol, investments in child care programs and higher education, and initiatives supporting small businesses and Pennsylvania workers. Additionally, Senator Casey fought to secure funding directly for 60 community projects in Pennsylvania, totaling $29,959,000.

“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 supporting our first responders and stopping the flow of fentanyl into our communities, to revitalizing communities and uplifting small businesses, to investing in the high quality child care and public education that working families deserve.”

The spending package, passed 74-24, 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: defense and national security, public safety and securing the border, education and child care, health care, and supporting workers and small businesses, and more. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Friday. 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 $30 million for 60 projects across Pennsylvania. The projects include job training initiatives, education programs for K-12 and college students, flood mitigation measures, small business support, and health facility improvements in the Commonwealth. A full list of the 60 projects can be found HERE.

Examples of projects  include:

  • Investing in Flood Prevention in Harrisburg: Senator Casey secured $750,000 for Harrisburg’s Redevelopment Authority to complete the preliminary engineering and design for its Paxton Creek Dechannelization Project, which will reduce the repetitive and damaging flooding of Paxton Creek.
  • Supporting Community Schools in Erie: Senator Casey secured $350,000 to fund four community schools in Erie. Continued investment in these community schools will ensure that the more than 2,000 students served receive robust academic, medical, and emotional supports critical to overcoming systemic barriers to success.
  • Upgrading Medical Equipment and Technology at an LGBTQ Health Center in Philadelphia: Senator Casey secured $400,000 to upgrade critical basic medical equipment and technology infrastructure at the Mazzoni Center, which provides comprehensive health care for Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community. The upgrades include bolstering security systems, upgrading vitals machines, replacing outdated technology, and purchasing a generator which will ensure critical medications do not spoil during power outages.
  • Investing in a New Emergency Services Facility in Schuylkill County: Senator Casey secured $2 million to help Schuylkill County construct and operate a new facility which will provide expanded training for volunteer fire companies, emergency management services, and law enforcement officials.
  • Supporting Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery in Johnstown: Senator Casey worked in partnership with Senator Fetterman to secure $115,000 to support the Cambria County Drug Coalition’s efforts to administer medication and harm reduction supplies, as well as connect people suffering from substance abuse disorder to health services. This unit would help a lower income community address the overdose crisis and supporting community revitalization. Senator Casey secured this project in partnership with Senator Fetterman.
  • Supporting Tree of Life’s Antisemitism Awareness Efforts: As Tree of Life expands its mission to fight antisemitism across Pennsylvania and the Nation, Senator Casey secured $1,000,000 to give the organization the resources to develop and implement K-12 curriculum to help educators and students to identify and challenge antisemitism and identity-based hate. With in-person and virtual instruction of the curriculum, thousands of students will be provided the tools to disrupt hate.

Defense and National Security

  • Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Defense Industrial Base: The bill provides billions in funding for programs supported by the Pennsylvania defense industrial base, including procurement of Paladin howitzers, Chinook helicopters, and special operations utility vehicles, manufacturing improvements supporting heavy forge capacity and combat helmet production, and research and development on flight control technology, rare earth elements, and glass semiconductors.
  • Enabling PFAS Remediation: The legislation includes an increase of over $67 million to support the continued cleanup of dangerous PFAS chemicals around military bases, including in Montgomery County.
  • Supporting Law Enforcement through the National Guard Counterdrug Program: The legislation includes a $100 million increase in funding for the National Guard Counterdrug program, which includes the Pennsylvania Counterdrug Joint Task Force and the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center based out of Fort Indiantown Gap. Funding will strengthen National Guard analysis, aerial and ground reconnaissance, transportation, and training support to law enforcement.
  • Creating the Next Generation of Aerospace Leaders: The bill provides $33 million increase in funding for the Civil Air Patrol, which trains future aerospace professionals and leaders across Pennsylvania through its cadet and STEM education programs. Civil Air Patrol also performs emergency services for state and local agencies.

Public Safety and Securing the Border

  • Stopping the Flow of Fentanyl into the U.S.: The bill includes more than $400 million for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to improve the detection and seizure of fentanyl and other drugs at ports of entry along the border, with non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment and additional CBP personnel. This funding will also expand CBP’s outbound operations on the southwest border, which will help stop the flow of currency, firearms, and other contraband resulting from the sale of fentanyl. Senator Casey has introduced legislation and consistently advocated for additional funding for CBP officers and technology to detect and interdict fentanyl and other illicit goods that are being trafficked through the U.S. border.
  • Supporting First Responders: The legislation provides FEMA with $324 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants which provide funding for fire departments and emergency medical service organizations to obtain critical equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources. It also provides $324 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants, which are intended to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter organizations to help them increase or maintain their staffs of front-line firefighters.
  • Drug Trafficking and Addressing Addiction: The bill includes $469.6 million for the Office of National Drug Control Policy to coordinate a whole-of government response to the fentanyl and substance use disorder crises, stop drug trafficking, and address addiction. This funding includes nearly $300 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program (HIDTA)—a program that Senator Casey has strongly supported in Pennsylvania and across the Nation.
  • Securing Our Elections. The legislation provides $55 million for election security grants for states and U.S. territories to protect the integrity of our elections.

Economy, Jobs, Small Businesses, and Workers

  • Helping Small Businesses Thrive: The legislation includes over one billion dollars for the Small Business Administration to assist small businesses in their efforts to grow. Additionally, Senator Casey helped secure $30 million for the APEX Accelerators program, which helps small and underserved businesses navigate government contracting.
  • Supporting Community Revitalization: The bill includes more than $320 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund program, which provides tailored resources and specialized financial programs to support investment in distressed communities. Funding from this program provides direct support to Community Development Financial Institutions that work in communities to create jobs and improve neighborhoods, including many critical institutions in Pennsylvania.
  • Assisting Pennsylvanians Heat Their Homes: The bill includes $4 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), an increase of $25 million over the fiscal year 2023 enacted level. This funding will ensure low-income families across the Commonwealth keep their homes warm.

Education and Child Care

  • Supporting Children and Working Families: The bill increases funding for early learning programs by $1 billion, including a $725 million increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, and a $275 million increase for Head Start. Senator Casey’s pushed for increased federal funding for programs that make child care and quality early learning programs more affordable and accessible for families has led to a cumulative $4.4 billion increased investment in children over the past three fiscal years.
  • Promoting Inclusion and High-Quality Education for Students with Disabilities: The bill provides support for students with disabilities throughout their education with a $20 million increase to IDEA Special Education State grants and direction to the Department of Education to extend Educational Technology, Media, and Materials programming to improve accessibility in higher education.
  • Protecting Access to Higher Education: The bill provides a maximum Pell Grant award of $7,395 for the 2024-2025 school year, preserving the $900 increase in the maximum award over the last two fiscal years, and sustaining Congress’ recent work to push the program to keep pace with inflation and better support low-income students. This year, Pell Grants are expected to help more than seven million students access higher education and further their careers. The bill also protects funding for Federal Work Study, the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, and the Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS), preserving additional aid opportunities for students most in need. 

Health Care and Human Services

  • Supporting Communities Affected by the Darlington Train Derailment: The bill includes language that Senator Casey fought to secure that encourages the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue working with the communities affected by the derailment in East Palestine in order to develop a long-term follow-up study of the health impacts.
  • Bolstering the National Institutes of Health: The bill includes an increase of $300 million, for a total of $48.6 billion, for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will further support the Pennsylvania researchers using NIH grants to save lives and improve patient care.
  • Investing in Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: The bill includes $335 million for pandemic influenza preparedness activities, an increase of $7 million over the fiscal year 2023 enacted level.

Support People with Disabilities

  • Employment for People with Disabilities: The bill includes $4.2 billion to provide training and education, supported employment, and assistive technology to support the employment of people with disabilities.  
  • Protection of Older Adults: The bill provides more than $21 million for the long-term care ombudsman program designed to resolve health, safety, and welfare programs for older adults and people with disabilities who live in long-term care settings.
  • Supporting People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: The bill provides over $150 million to train people to work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to protect their rights, and to create community-based projects to address their needs.
  • Addressing the Needs of People with Autism: The agreement appropriates over $56 million for training to professionals to provide services to people on the autism spectrum and to support their families. 
  • Infant-Toddler-Family Programs: The bill includes $540 million for states to provide early intervention programming for infants and toddlers with disabilities and to support their families.
  • Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities: The bill provides $420 million for local school districts to operate education and developmental programs for children between 3 and 5 who have disabilities.