Here is the press release --
Landrieu Secures $3B for NASA That Will Help Sustain Jobs at La. Michoud Assembly Plant
Funding also secured for Smart Growth planning in two Appropriations bills passed out of Committee today.
WASHINGTON – At the request of United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved two pieces of legislation that contain critical funding for Louisiana, including $3 billion for NASA that will help to keep jobs at Michoud Assembly Plant. The Fiscal Year 2011 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill and the Fiscal Year 2011 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill were reported favorably by the Committee and await action by the full Senate.
Sen. Landrieu secured more than $3.25 million for Louisiana projects in the CJS Appropriations Bill and more than $9 million for Louisiana in the THUD Appropriations Bill.
Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill
The CJS Appropriations Bill includes $3 billion for NASA that will help to keep jobs at the Michoud Assembly Plant in New Orleans East. Additionally, important coastal restoration project funding, as well as funding for projects aimed at reducing violent crime in New Orleans, were included in this bill.
“The funding secured today for NASA will ensure that America remains the world leader in manned spaceflight by jumpstarting the development and construction of a new Heavy Lift Vehicle, while also continuing the development of the Orion Crew Capsule,” said Sen. Landrieu. “This is not only great news for the direction of the space program but will ensure that NASA’s skilled workforces, in locations like Michoud, will be able to resume work on a NASA-built Heavy Lift Vehicle in the near-term.”
Other projects championed by Sen. Landrieu that were included in the CJS legislation include:
- $300,000 to Dillard University for the Eighth Grade Initiative. The Initiative tutors, assists, and mentors underserved minority youth in the Recovery School District in the areas of science and mathematics, offering college scholarships to those who stay in the program..
- $300,000 to the Orleans Parish Court Team for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers. This Zero to Three program increases awareness about the negative impact of abuse and neglect on infants and toddlers and changes local systems to improve outcomes and prevent future court involvement in the lives of very young children.
- $1,000,000 to the Business Council of New Orleans & the River Region (BCNO) / New Orleans Crime Coalition (NOCC) for the New Orleans Violent Crime Reduction Initiative. The core purpose of this project is to reduce violent crime in the New Orleans metropolitan area through targeted investments in the local treatment and criminal justice infrastructure.
- $1,200,000 to Louisiana State University A &M College, Public institution of Higher Education Coastal Restoration and Enhancement through Science and Technology (CREST). This project will allow the university partners to continue their close work with federal and state agencies and other interested groups to ensure information developed is available to all involved in ongoing and future coastal habitat restoration efforts.
- $200,000 to Grambling State University for the Creating Honorable Opportunities that Involve Community, Education, and Service (CHOICES) project. These funds will provide a seamless transition for ex-offenders who are re-entering their communities and into the lives of their families.
- $250,000 to the University of New Orleans for the Pontchartrain Basin Restoration Program. The funding will provide for the continuation of the Pontchartrain Basin Program, whereby the U.N.O. Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences, conducts priority research and provide science support for the Pontchartrain Restoration Program (PRP).
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
The THUD Appropriations Bill contains funding to continue initiatives for smart growth and sustainable development, including $150 million for sustainable development nationwide that Sen. Landrieu helped to secure. Additionally, the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), which is a non-profit organization that facilitates urban and rural land use planning efforts throughout Louisiana, received $750,000 to build capacity in land use planning and community preservation throughout Louisiana.
“I have long supported smart growth planning initiatives," said Sen. Landrieu. "Creating walkable, livable communities that encourage integrated transportation and housing development is critical to the community's sustainability and economic vitality. Louisiana communities need the tools and technical abilities to plan for the future and these funds are an excellent start toward achieving that goal.”
In 1998, CPEX was born out of a partnership with the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the City of Baton Rouge and the State of Louisiana. The funds will provide critically needed planning grants and technical assistance to communities across the state.
Since CPEX’s formation in 2006, it has awarded grants and assisted in the planning efforts of Tangipahoa, West Feliciana, Ascension, Vernon, East Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and St. Charles Parishes, as well as the Town of Jena, to undergo participatory planning processes that incorporate Smart Growth principles.
“CPEX is engaged in empowering communities to take advantage of the assets and opportunities unique to their geographies,” said CPEX CEO, Boo Thomas.. “In the community planning work we do, we create a holistic approach which results in healthier, economically stronger, more sustainable places to live.
“CPEX seeks funding from public and private sources to leverage the planning efforts in each of the communities in which we work. We have been successful in leveraging every dollar two to one. This funding will allow us to continue to provide planning resources and expand our reach to communities across the state.”
Other projects championed by Sen. Landrieu that were included in the THUD Appropriations Bill include:
- $2,500,000 to the St. Bernard Parish Government to construct an access road for the new hospital in St. Bernard Parish.
- $1,000,000 to the City of Covington for the purchase of a 116,000 square foot building on 7 acres in Covington from St. Tammany government. This property will be used as a public works facility, recreational center, civic group meeting space, and space for future economic development.
- $500,000 to the City of Gretna for the planning and construction of a new Senior Center that will meet the demands of the elderly population.
- $1,300,000 for the widening of LA 21 in St. Tammany Parish. This project entails the widening of LA 21to a four lane section between Bootlegger Rd (formerly LA 1085) and 11th Street in Covington.
- $400,000 for the design and construction of an interchange at Grand Prairie Highway (La Hwy 98) and Interstate 10 in Rayne, Louisiana. This economic development project involves the design, acquisition of rights of way and construction for the upgrade of an existing I-10 crossing at LA Hwy 98 and the construction of a south frontage road to provide for full east/west access to I-10.
- $800,000 to fund the Fourth Street Underpass Project in the City of Monroe. Supported by the City and the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, this project will construct an underpass beneath the KCS railroad that separates the downtown area from the entire north part of the City. It will revitalize the downtown and to improve traffic flow and emergency response times throughout the downtown area.
- $250,000 to the City-Parish of Baton Rouge for the Louisiana Downtown Greenway. This funding will create greenways linking neighborhoods, existing parks and major attractions into a cohesive urban park that will increase real estate values, promote economic development and improve quality of life and the environment.
- $500,000 to the New Orleans Federal Alliance (NOFA) for the Federal City project. Specifically, this funding is for the design, planning and implementation of a multi-use, energy efficient redevelopment project on a 200 acre campus on the site of Federal City, a former naval station in New Orleans.
- $750,000 for the construction of an interchange at Pecue Lane and I-10 in Baton Rouge. This critical project will reduce congestion on I-10, improve access to the Interstate to accommodate new growth and travel patterns, and spur economic development along the Pecue Lane corridor.
- $500,000 for continued engineering and design on Louisiana Highway 1. Specifically, these funds will be used to provide engineering and design funds to LA DOTD for 8.3 miles of elevated highway critical to 18 percent of the nation's daily energy needs.
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