September 13, 2018

Durbin & Duckworth: Appropriations Bill Provides Critical Funding for Illinois


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced Illinois priorities included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Energy & Water; Military Construction & Veterans Affairs; and Legislative Branch Appropriations Bills.  The legislation passed the Senate yesterday and will now head to the House of Representatives for final passage.

“This bill supports Illinois is a variety of ways, like funding critical infrastructure needs that will fuel our economy and create jobs, supporting the well-being of our brave veterans at IVH Quincy and across the state, and accelerating ground breaking research at our National Labs.  I’m glad the Senate led by bipartisan example and passed a bill that funds important functions and programs within our government without the inclusion of harmful partisan policy riders.  I was proud to work with Senator Duckworth to secure vital federal funding for Illinois in this bill, and urge the House to not delay in sending it to the President for signature,” said Durbin.

“This bipartisan legislation is a win for Illinois, supporting research at our national laboratories, improving our locks and dams, and helping VA modernize facilities in Illinois and across the country.  It also fulfills a promise Senator Durbin and I made to secure new federal funding for Veteran facilities with aging infrastructure that could put the health of our Veterans at risk like the Quincy Veterans Home,” said Duckworth.  “It will help VA fill critical vacancies and improve its suicide prevention outreach and opioid treatment programs – and it restores funding the Trump Administration tried to cut that supports caregivers for seriously injured Veterans.  I am proud to join Senator Durbin and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in passing this legislation and I hope the President signs it into law.”

Scientific Research and Illinois National Labs

  • Department of Energy’s Office of Science: The bill provides $6.6 billion to advance scientific research in Illinois and around the country (a $325 million increase over fiscal year 2018).
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory:  The bill provides $980 million for the Office of Science’s High Energy Physics Program, which provides 90 percent of Fermilab’s funding.
  • Argonne National Laboratory:  The bill provides $2.16 billion for the Office of Science’s Basic Energy Sciences Program, which provides approximately 40 percent of Argonne’s funding. 

Army Corps Projects in Illinois

  • La Grange Lock and Dam:  The bill includes Durbin’s floor amendment with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to ensure $28.8 million in FY19 Inland Waterways Trust Fund funding is available for the much needed rehab of Illinois’ aging La Grange Lock and Dam, which is arguably in the worst shape of any lock in the nation’s 12,000-mile inland waterways system.
  • Asian Carp:  The bill directs the Corps to submit the final Chief’s Report for the Brandon Road Project by the February 2019 deadline and to allocate sufficient funding to ensure that timeline is met.  The bill also provides $200,000 in funding to continue a study of technology options to prevent the spread of Asian Carp, and $18.9 million in funding to continue operation of the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal Aquatic Nuisance Species Barrier System.

Illinois Veterans Programs

  • Illinois Veterans Facilities:  The bill provides $150 million for the construction of State Veterans’ Homes, which funds improvements to veterans facilities in Illinois including the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
  • Caregivers Initiative:  The bill provides $865 million for the Caregivers Initiative, which will be used to expand health care benefits and mental health services for family members who care for severely injured veterans.
  • Processing Disability Claims:  The bill provides $10.8 billion for modernizing information technology systems used by the VA, including the system that aims to reduce the current backlog of claims.
  • Groundbreaking Medical Research:  The bill includes $779 million for medical and prosthetic research to develop cutting-edge treatments for post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and other care for wounded warriors.