U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) helped secure funding to reimburse Northern border communities for the cost of prosecuting federal crimes, train Whatcom County workers for family wage jobs, help the Port of Bellingham complete a Marine Trades Center and support the Bellingham Police Department, all as part of an end-of-the-year appropriations bill passed by Congress. The House and Senate passed the bill this week and have sent it to the President to be signed into law. Larsen released the following statement:
“This legislation includes funding to help relieve the heavy financial burden on our Northern border communities and help them cover the cost of detaining and prosecuting suspects charged with federal crimes. It’s past time Northern border communities got the help they need to keep us safe.
“Resources for Bellingham Technical College will help expand training programs to prepare Whatcom County workers for high-skill, family-wage jobs in Northwest Washington. Funding for the Bellingham Police Department will give them resources they need to fight crime and keep our community safe, and resources for the Port of Bellingham will help them complete a Marine Trades Center, a vital part of the waterfront redevelopment project.
“I appreciate Senator Murray’s leadership in helping deliver these critical resources for Northwest Washington. Time and again, she has been a champion for local priorities.
“For families in Whatcom County and across the country, this legislation makes critical investments in veterans’ services, health care, education and other priorities here at home. However, this bill is not perfect. It does not make the full investments I would have hoped in many of our nation’s priorities because of the President’s failure to compromise. But it does represent an important step forward and delivers needed resources for Northwest Washington.
“This Congress has made significant progress. We have invested in our economy, national security, veterans’ health care, education and energy independence, making substantial improvements in the lives of Americans.
“There is more work to be done, and we will work to accomplish it with the best interests of the American people in mind.”
Larsen helped secure the following resources in the bill for Whatcom County and Northwest Washington:
- $2,820,000 to help Northern border communities pay for the costs of prosecuting federal crimes.
- $205,349 to help Bellingham Technical College educate more students, acquire hands-on teaching tools and modernize its curriculum to train energy workers for family-wage jobs
- $245,000 to help the Port of Bellingham complete a Marine Trades Center for local boat repair, launching and storage, small business services and training in Northwest Washington.
- $258,000 to help the Bellingham Police Department purchase a new vehicle to respond to emergencies more efficiently, purchase new technology equipment to record crimes and produce forensically accurate evidence.
- $400,000 to help the Northwest Agriculture Business Center create a technological network connecting producers, retailers and distributors so local farmers can get their products to market more efficiently;
- $1.8 million to help the Washington State Meth Initiative fight meth and keep our communities safe; and
- $714,400 to create a National Meth Center to help local leaders across the country use the most effective strategies to fight the meth epidemic.