BY CAROL VAUGHN, Eastern Shore Post
The spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden in December includes $300,000 for a study on Tangier that could pave the way for the use of dredging spoils to build up the eroding island.
U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner in a joint statement called the study “a necessary down payment before any construction work can begin on Tangier to use navigational dredged material to address the loss of habitat and eroding shoreline, the impacts of sea level rise, recurrent coastal flooding, and coastal storms.”
The budget also includes $25 million for dredging Baltimore Harbor — pending the study’s results, that project could provide the material for a future beneficial-use project on Tangier.
The government funding bill for fiscal year 2023 includes $200 million in dedicated funds secured by Kaine and Warner for Virginia projects.
“Virginia will benefit greatly from the budget President Biden just signed, and I’m grateful to every Virginian whose insights and advice helped me shape this legislation to best meet the Commonwealth’s needs,” said Kaine.
He added, “Not only will this budget execute the pay raise Congress just authorized for our servicemembers, expand internet access, address mental and physical health needs, and expand access to affordable housing — it will bring over $200 million in funding back to Virginia to support urgent local community projects. This budget is a big win and I look forward to seeing all of its positive impacts in the new year.”
Warner called the 117th Congress “the most productive Congress in modern history,” saying, “(I)t’s only fitting that we wrap up it up by enacting a consequential government funding package that will continue to strengthen and build on this progress.”
“This bill funds essential community projects in Virginia to the tune of $200 million dollars, and it supports hardworking families by increasing access to affordable child care, housing, high-speed internet, and start-up capital in underserved communities. This law will provide needed protections to pregnant workers, lower drug costs, and improve access to mental health care. Importantly, I’m proud that this bill will ensure a more resilient military right here at home, while reaffirming our commitment to the Ukrainian fight for democracy and against authoritarianism,” Warner said.
Congress last year restarted a process formerly called earmarks and now termed community project funding, which allows legislators to request dedicated federal funding for specific local projects.