U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) secured $40 million in federal funding for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) in the U.S. House of Representatives-passed FY2020 appropriations bill, matching the funding levels requested for ongoing construction of this world-class research facility at Michigan State University.
Slotkin led a bipartisan letter formally requesting the House Appropriations Committee include the $40 million in the House funding bill. The letter was signed by Reps. Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, Dan Kildee, Fred Upton, Andy Levin, Paul Mitchell, Debbie Dingell, Haley Stevens, and Rashida Tlaib. Senate appropriators are expected to take up their version of the bill later this summer, with final FY2020 appropriations negotiations occurring later this year.
“Upon completion, FRIB will lead the world in groundbreaking research that deepens our understanding of the Earth and the cosmos, and will train the next generation of world-class nuclear physics researchers right here in the 8th district,” said Slotkin. “We’re so proud of FRIB’s leadership in our community, and I’m thrilled we were able to successfully advocate for the funding it needs to carry out the construction that’s so critical making FRIB a reality.”
FRIB will lead cutting-edge research on rare isotopes. The facility has received $590.2 million in federal funding to date and, once completed, will be the world’s most powerful radioactive beam facility. According to the 2015 Nuclear Science Advisory Committee Long Range Plan, “Initiating its scientific program will revolutionize our understanding of nuclei and their role in the cosmos.” It will employ hundreds of scientists and engineers, and support innovation and training for young researchers at MSU.
In the House-passed appropriations bill, Slotkin also helped secure additional critical funding for education and research that will benefit Michigan’s 8th district:
- National Institute of Health (NIH) grants: $41 billion ($2 billion increase): NIH funding is critical to supporting research being conducted at universities in the 8th district. In FY2019, Michigan’s 8th district received 116 NIH awards through Michigan State University and three through Oakland University, totalling $45,252,772. Research areas included Alzheimer’s disease drugs, breast cancer prevention, disparities in women’s cardiovascular health, radiation damage to DNA, and early detection of colon cancer.
- Head Start: $11,563,095,000 ($1.5 billion increase): A $1.5 billion increase will support Quality Improvement Funding for Trauma-Informed Care and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, expanding access to 80,000 infants and toddlers from low-income families. Head Start programs offer education, health, and nutrition services to economically disadvantaged children and parenting and employment supports to their parents. There are Head Start programs throughout Michigan’s 8th district, including in Rochester Hills, Lake Orion, Holly, Davisburg, Hartland, Howell, Brighton, Fowlerville, Mason, Meridian, Lansing, and East Lansing.
- IDEA state grants: $13,364,392,000 ($1 billion increase): IDEA provides resources and services for students with a wide range of disabilities, including hearing impairment, autism, language impairment, and learning disabilities. This is the largest funding increase to the program in over a decade.
- TRIO programs: $1,160,000,000 ($100 million increase): TRIO outreach and student services programs are designed to identify and serve students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO programs are hosted at Oakland University, MSU, and LCC.
- Community Services Block Grant (CSBG): $760 million, an increase of $35 million. The CSBG program supports more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies nationwide, including one in Lansing and one in Pontiac, which serves Livingston and Oakland counties. CAAs connect people to resources like emergency food assistance, job training, housing counseling, and health care services.