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Funding measure includes millions for education and health, strengthen social safety net in Hawaiʻi

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Rep. Ed Case with HPD officers at Homeless Outreach event.

Millions in funding and additional studies to improve education, health care and social safety net programs for Hawai’i are included the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022 that passed Congress and was signed into law by the President earlier this month.

Congressman Ed Case (HI-01), a member of the US House Committee on Appropriations said, “I’m grateful that our measure also included funding and Congressional directives I sought for programs that have the most impact throughout Hawai’i, especially those targeting homelessness, improving education and health care, and strengthening our social safety net.”

Homelessness

As part of his oversight of federal programs and funding in Hawai’i and preparation for his Appropriations Committee’s upcoming work on forging the Fiscal Year 2023 federal funding bill, this past Tuesday, March 22, Case joined Anton Krucky, Director of the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of Community Services, in visiting several programs serving unsheltered and in-need communities especially in the areas of housing and health care.

“We were able during COVID-19 to contribute federal emergency assistance funding of close to $40 million for City and County application to these programs to help pull them through. This was not just about funding and programs but about lives, and demonstrates how much such assistance in all areas including outreach, temporary shelter, mental health and substance abuse treatment, re-housing assistance, and low-income housing, means in our efforts to help our ‘ohana who struggle on the outer margins of our society.”

Key provisions in the FY22 federal budget bill requested, supported and secured by Case to target homelessness include:

  • $3 billion for the Homeless Assistance Grants Program a primary avenue for federal funding to states and localities to combat homelessness.
  • $2.2 billion for homeless assistance programs for our nation’s veterans, an increase of $246 million above the 2021 enacted level. This funding will enhance the Department of Veterans’ Affairs ability to reach homeless veterans, which is particularly crucial as the most recent homelessness survey showed that on any given night roughly 40,000 veterans nationwide are experiencing homelessness.
  • $114 million for the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, which helps homeless youth access critical health and wellness services and provide them with the support they need to succeed in and out of the classroom.

Health Care

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“As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, our FY 2022 budget measure will bolster our public health infrastructure with resources for states and local governments to strengthen their own health infrastructure and capacity,” said Case.

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“Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in particular have experienced disproportionately high rates of obesity, hypertension, asthma, diabetes and other chronic diseases. These disparities are, in large part, perpetuated because of systemic barriers to health care and social determinants of health.

“My Appropriations Committee addressed these disparities through various programs. For example, funding in the FY 2022 budget for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems will provide continued primary, dental and behavioral care as well as make available health education, health promotion, disease prevention and Native Hawaiian traditional healing services to fit the needs of their respective communities.”

Key provisions in the legislation requested, secured and supported by Case include:

  • $22 million for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems, which is $1.5 million above the FY 2021 enacted level.
  • $2 million for facilities and equipment at the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i.
  • $1.1 million for facilities and equipment at Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
  • $1 million for the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity in the Office of Minority Health. The funds will advance Indigenous solutions to achieve health equity and encourage the Department of Health and Human Services to partner with universities in these efforts.
  • $6.5 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an increase of $530 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. This includes $491 million, an increase of $15 million above the FY 2021 enacted level, for opioid overdose prevention and surveillance.
  • $8.5 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an increase of $582 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. This includes $61 million, an increase of $5 million above the FY 2021 enacted level, in public health workforce initiatives to ensure our health workforce is prepared to meet emerging and future challenges.
  • $1 billion to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to accelerate the pace of scientific breakthroughs for diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • $45 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $2.25 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level to support a wide range of biomedical and behavioral research.

Social Services

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According to Rep. Case, the committee created a new Native Hawaiian Resource Center on Domestic Violence. “The $1 million included in the bill will allow the center to provide supportive services for adult and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence and dating violence and to prevent such incidents in Native Hawaiian communities.”

Other key provisions in the legislation requested, secured and supported by Case include:

  • $1.2 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service, an increase of $30 million above the FY 2021 enacted level. This includes $467 million for AmeriCorps State and National Grants and $231 million for SeniorCorps.
  • $399 million for home and community-based supportive services, an increase of $6 million above the FY 2021 enacted level;
  • $205 million for family and Native American caregivers services, an increase of $6 million above the FY 2021 enacted level.

Education

This fiscal year’s funding measure saw increases for schools, grants and even research programs on
how to improve teaching methods, “all of which will help prepare students to compete in the global economy,” said Rep. Case.

Key provisions in the legislation requested, secured and supported by Case include:

  • $500,000 to establish the first-ever Native American Language Resource Center, which will support higher education institutions in teaching and learning languages, including research on new teaching methods for educators and developing instructional materials.
  • $1.6 billion for Impact Aid, an increase of $56 million above the FY 2021 enacted level.
  • $18 billion for Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies (low income schools), an increase of $1 billion above the FY 2021 enacted level – the largest increase in the program in more than a decade.
  • $25 billion for Federal student aid programs, which includes funding to raise the maximum Pell Grant award to $6,895, a $400 increase from the FY 2021 enacted level.

Case’s Appropriations Committee is responsible for allocating some $1.5 trillion in funding to federal government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis.

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