Blumenauer Urges Funding for Important Local Initiatives

May 10, 2002
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- This week, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) requested federal funding from the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education for local improvement projects in the Portland metropolitan area. The request was made to subcommittee Chairman Ralph Regula (R-OH) and Ranking Member David Obey (D-WI). This round of funding requests marks the first step in the congressional appropriations process for these departments-a process that will conclude later this year when the House and Senate vote on the final funding levels. The agencies and programs funded through this subcommittee's work play a critical role in the lives of Oregon citizens.

The following are highlights from Congressman Blumenauer's federal funding request:

· Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN): Blumenauer requested $1 million from the Department of Health & Human Services to help eliminate barriers to access and disparities in health care for Oregon's medically vulnerable populations. This funding would allow Oregon to improve efficiency of resource utilization and care provision for a majority of low income and vulnerable Oregonians.

· NW Center for Engineering, Science, and Technology at Portland State University: Blumenauer is helping Portland State University access federal funds for a proposal to develop a new engineering complex that will serve as a research magnet for businesses needing close access to high quality faculty and students. He requested $3 million from the Department of Education for technology and support services associated with the planned research facility.

· The Multnomah ESD Outdoor School Program: Blumenauer asked the subcommittee to help the financially strained Outdoor School run by the Multnomah Education Service District. Blumenauer's Outdoor School request was for $10,565,000 through fiscal year 2007, with $1,912,000 for the 2002-2003 school year from the Department of Education. The 36-year-old Multnomah ESD Outdoor School Program is a nationally known model for residential environmental education that serves approximately 7,000 sixth-graders each year.

· Friends of the Children Expansion Projects: Blumenauer requested $3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to help seed the growth of the Friends of the Children model and spread the successes of their current locations to more children throughout the country. Friends of the Children, based in Portland, Oregon, has set a goal of serving 3,000 children over the next 5 years and pairing each child with a mentor.