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Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Senate Appropriations Bill: Pork for Rail, Red Hill, Housing
By News Release @ 3:20 PM :: 2115 Views :: Congressional Delegation, Military, Rail

Schatz: $1 Billion To Defuel, Shut Down Red Hill Included In Appropriations Bill

News Release from Office of Sen Brian Schatz, Dec 20, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that the annual appropriations bill includes $1 billion to defuel and permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility.

“This is new federal funding to drain and permanently shut down Red Hill. We still have more work to do to make sure Red Hill is closed as quickly and safely as possible, and now we have even more resources to help in that effort,” said Senator Schatz, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Earlier this year, Schatz secured millions in federal funding to defuel, permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, and clean up contaminated water in the affected areas.

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Schatz Secures $85 Million To Address National Housing Crisis, Help Build More Affordable Housing

Funding Included In Appropriations Bill Will Encourage Local Communities To Cut Unnecessary Housing Regulations, Help Increase Housing Supply

News Release from Office of Sen Brian Schatz, Dec 20, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today secured the inclusion of a new $85 million grant program based on his bipartisan ‘Yes In My Backyard’ legislation in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill. The bill establishes a new federal program to reward state and local governments that reform land-use policies and other local barriers that constrain the supply of affordable housing.

“We need to legalize housing, and abandon the exclusionary zoning that originated during Jim Crow and continues today. Government needs to change its mentality from intentionally constraining the supply of housing to incentivizing it,” said Senator Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

For decades, local zoning and land use regulations as well as lack of necessary housing-related infrastructure have prevented housing production from keeping pace with population and economic growth, resulting in a nationwide housing shortage. The new $85 million federal grant program will help reverse this trend by rewarding state, local, and regional jurisdictions that address exclusionary zoning practices, land use policies, and housing infrastructure to increase the supply of affordable housing. These policies include increasing density, reducing minimum lot sizes, creating transit-oriented development zones, streamlining or shortening permitting processes and timeline, expanding by-right multifamily zoned areas, allowing accessory dwelling units on lots with single family homes, eliminating or relaxing residential property height limitations, and donating vacant land for affordable housing development.

Schatz first introduced the Yes in My Backyard Act in 2019 with U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.). It was re-introduced last year, and has the support of more than 250 organizations.

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Schatz Secures Nearly $64 Million In New Funding For Honolulu Rail Project

As Chair Of Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, Schatz Worked To Bring Home Additional Federal Dollars to HART

News Release from Office of Sen Brian Schatz, Dec 20, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that he has secured $63.8 million in new funding for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Schatz worked with congressional leaders to steer nearly $64 million to the rail project in Honolulu. The new money, which will be used to cover inflationary cost increases, is in addition to the remaining federal funding that the Federal Transit Administration has already committed to the project.

“The federal government has already committed millions of dollars into the rail project, so finding new money was no easy task. We fought hard to make sure Hawai‘i gets its fair share of federal dollars, and this new money will give HART more resources to cover inflationary costs and finally get this project up and running for the people of Honolulu,” said Senator Schatz, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation.

SA: “We had no idea this was in the works,” Lori Kahikina, HART’s CEO and executive director, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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CNN: The spending bill is the product of lengthy negotiations between top congressional Democrats and Republicans. Lawmakers reached a “bipartisan, bicameral framework” last week following a dispute between the two parties over how much money should be spent on non-defense domestic priorities. They worked through the weekend to craft the legislation.

The Senate is expected to vote first to approve the deal this week and then send it to the House for approval before government funding runs out on December 23. The bill would keep the government operating through September, the end of the fiscal year.

Congress originally passed a continuing resolution on September 30 to temporarily fund the government in fiscal year 2023, which began October 1.

TH: Read the full 4,155-page, $1.7 trillion government funding bill released by Congress

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