Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, voted Thursday with the majority of the House to approve the Consolidated Appropriations Act (House Resolution 3288).
The measure, which was approved 220-201 (with one member voting present), would provide federal funding for critical federal infrastructure, law enforcement, environmental protection, health care, education, and military and veterans programs. Capps secured funding in the legislation for several local programs.
“My top priority is rebuilding our economy and creating jobs on the South Coast,” Capps said. “This legislation provides critical funding to help families hurt by the downturn in the economy, while making strategic investments to grow our economy over the long term. It also provides funds to help our military service members, their families and our veterans with high-quality health services and by constructing key facilities for training and housing, including building a new child development facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base.”
Funding of $13 million would be used to construct a new 23,900-square-foot child development facility, which would allow Vandenberg to increase the enrollment capacity for all age groups to 192 children. The current center is undersized and out of date, resulting in long waiting lists for the children of military service members on the base. Adequate child development resources in the surrounding areas are scarce.
Capps worked to secure funding for the following programs in Santa Barbara County:
» Marian Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: $500,000 to develop a neonatal intensive care unit in order to enable mothers to safely deliver their babies in their community. Marian Medical Center delivers more than 3,100 babies per year, but doesn’t have the capacity to care for premature or high-risk newborns.
» California Bay-Watershed Education and Training Program, including programs in Santa Barbara County: $2.5 million for the program, which provides funds to environmentally based education organizations to provide students, teachers and communities throughout a watershed with meaningful outdoor experiences.
» West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health: $500,000 to help implement the agreement, a proactive, regional collaboration to protect and manage ocean and coastal resources along the entire West Coast. Launched in 2006 by Govs. Gregoire of Washington, Ted Kulongoski of Oregon and Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, the agreement advances regional ocean governance. Such regional partnerships were a main recommendation of both the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission.
» California Seafloor Mapping Program: $300,000 for mapping California’s state waters in order to improve ocean management, including understanding and mitigating the impacts to sea level rise, evaluating the potential for utilizing ocean energy, designating and monitoring marine reserves, improving navigation and ensuring shipping safety, understanding sediment transport and sand delivery, identifying dredging and dumping sites, help identify fault dynamics, regulation of offshore energy development, and fisheries management.
— Emily Kryder is the communications director for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.