U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., today announced that the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2008, approved by the Senate, includes significant funding for a number of justice programs across Tennessee.
“Tennessee law enforcement officials are working hard to keep the Volunteer state safe, and this legislation should help provide the resources they will need to continue to fight violent crime, gangs and drugs,” said Alexander, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Additional dollars I secured also should enhance law enforcement’s efforts to be better coordinated in growing communities.”
Earlier Alexander voted for a Motion to Commit the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee with instructions to reduce the overall spending level to match President Bush’s budget request of $51.2 billion. That motion failed 44 to 50.
“I voted to bring the cost of this bill closer to the President’s budget number,” Alexander said. “But Congress has to do its duty and needs to pass a bill in order to fund the FBI, anti-gang activities, and other services essential to reducing crime.”
The FY2008 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill, that passed the Senate on a 75 to 19 vote, includes funding for the following Tennessee projects:
- $2 million for the Memphis Regional Law Enforcement Project to combat an increase in violet crime and gang activity in the Memphis region, using resources from the City of Memphis, Shelby County and the University of Memphis.
- $350,000 for the Tennessee Statewide Methamphetamine Task Force to continue providing comprehensive training and integrated equipment, which will allow officers to more effectively report lab seizures, quarantine contaminated sites, and track and target serious and repeat offenders.
- $ 250,000 for Davidson County Mental Health Court initiative to help develop a much needed link between Nashville’s criminal justice system and the mental health community to better meet the needs of recovering individuals.
- $ 200,000 for Oak Ridge Law Enforcement Communications Project to specifically support a new umbrella communications system in the western portions of the City, where new population growth is the strongest.
The $54.4 billion Senate version of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2008 must now be reconciled with the House version of the annual spending bill.