Senator Barbara A. Mikulski today joined her colleague Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (both D-Md.) to announce that the U.S. Senate has approved the Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, and Housing and Urban Development 2006 spending bill. The bill includes key community development and transportation projects for Maryland.
"As a United States Senator, I work to put money in the federal checkbook that creates jobs and build communities. This legislation is the culmination of a year's worth of working with Maryland communities to identify places where a federal investment would be best used," said Senator Mikulski. "These projects represent the best list of local, state and federal priorities. Maryland can count on me to keep standing up for the day-to-day needs of my constituents and the long-range needs of the nation."
"This funding will help to improve the lives and the day-to-day needs of people all across the State of Maryland," said Senator Sarbanes. "These economic development funds help our local communities and create jobs."
- $500,000 for Mother Theresa Center, Langley Park which will serve as a community anchor, providing health and social services, job training and family counseling.
- $450,000 for the East Baltimore Development Project to transform 80 acres of blighted land around Johns Hopkins Hospital into a mixed use, mixed income community.
- $500,000 for Patterson Park Community Development Center to continue its redevelopment of Library Square with the aim of homeownership and a stable community.
- $400,000 for Goucher College's Community Service Center to support community internships and volunteer activities.
- $300,000 for the Maryland Food Bank to be used for construction and new equipment for a new food distribution center for the current statewide network of more than 900 programs.
- $200,000 for the American Visionary Arts Museum to reach out to its surrounding communities with one of the largest ever youth apprenticeship programs, the Community Mosaic Walls Project. This project has been successful in reducing dropout rates and increasing college applications in participating schools.
- $200,000 for Our Daily Bread Employment Center to offer food to the hungry and services to help people gain self-sufficiency through employment.
"I fight every year for federal investments that help keep Marylanders on the move," said Senator Mikulski. "More money for Maryland public transit systems means safer and faster commutes to work, better air quality, jobs today and jobs tomorrow."
"This funding continues our on-going federal investment in our mass transit infrastructure and will aid our commuting public in their day-to-day travels," said Senator Sarbanes. "I am particularly pleased that we are providing the final installment of funds to complete the much needed double-tracking effort for Baltimore's Light Rail system, which has been the source of bottlenecks and delays over the years for Baltimore's commuters."
- $12.42 million for the double tracking of Baltimore's Light Rail Line, which will fulfill the federal commitment to the project.
- $6 million for the Silver Spring Transit Center to replace a 30-year-old facility that is one of the busiest stations in the system. By the year 2025, the demand for transit services at this center is expected to grow by 70%.
In the next step of the appropriations process, the House and Senate will meet in Conference Committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. Both Houses of Congress will vote on the conference bill. Once passed by the House and Senate, the bill will go to the President for his signature.