U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced that the Conference Report to the Fiscal Year 2010 Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which was approved by Senate last night, includes significant funding for a number of law enforcement and scientific research programs across Tennessee. The bill now goes to the president for his signature.
“Funding in this legislation will help provide law enforcement in Tennessee with the tools they need to keep our state safe and secure,” said Alexander, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. “It will also support several scientific research projects across the state, investing in our nation’s brainpower advantage to help create new jobs here and keep them from going overseas.”
The FY10 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill includes funding for the following projects:
• $500,000 for the Tennessee Statewide Methamphetamine Task Force. This funding will be used to train and equip local law enforcement officers throughout Tennessee in a cooperative effort to combat the manufacture, distribution and use of methamphetamine, both domestic and foreign. The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force partners with different law enforcement agencies, first responders, social workers, health professionals, the National Guard, community groups and environmental agencies.
• $1 million for the Memphis Regional Law Enforcement Project that supports Operation Safe Community in Memphis. Funding provides support for law enforcement operations to fight gang-related and violent crime in Shelby County. Operation Safe Community is a joint initiative between the City of Memphis, Shelby County, the Shelby County District Attorney General, the United States Attorney for West Tennessee and the University of Memphis in conjunction with law enforcement and business leadership.
• $500,000 for the University of Tennessee Space Institute. This project will fund specialized equipment used in atmospheric testing, which is vital to the collection of atmospheric data needed to better understand climate and weather issues. According to NOAA, the Southeast region suffers from more climate-related natural disasters than any other region of the United States.
• $500,000 for the Bridge Builders, an at-risk youth college prep education program in Memphis. Funding will be used to expand educational opportunities and support for at-risk youth to encourage high school graduation and promote college enrollment. 100% of the students who complete the Bridge Builders Program graduate high school and 97% go on to college. The program currently serves 1,500 students each year.
• $500,000 for Austin Peay State University for the Solar Energy Laser Physics Program. This laser physics program will prepare students at Austin Peay State University to use the same tools used in the solar cell industry and help provide a well-trained workforce for the growing solar industry in Tennessee.
• $25 million for Oak Ridge National Laboratory for its National Climate Computer Research Center. Funding will be used for construction of facilities and computer infrastructure to support climate research and expand National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) efforts to understand and reverse the adverse impacts of climate change.