Senate rewards Idaho in Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill
Washington, DC â??Idaho downwinders could be eligible for benefits under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA), according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, thanks to a provision included in the Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill. The Senate is set to approve the report, which also includes funding for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, law enforcement, economic resources in rural counties and safety improvements along the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Trail. The bill calls for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to submit a report suggesting actions that both the DOJ and Congress can take to implement the recommendations put forth in a RECA report submitted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) earlier this year. The NAS report cited the need for geography to be taken into account when compensating downwinder victims under RECA, which could include individuals in Idaho. Crapo has led Senate efforts to address the needs of Idaho downwinders through his legislation (S. 998), which would make those affected in Idaho eligible for compensation. He is currently working with his colleagues to implement the recommendations of the NAS report.Crapo, former Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water, was instrumental in securing authorization for Idaho to participate in the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund and has won funding for the state in recent years.â??Overall, this funding is imperative to the safety and economic development of Idahoâ??s many rural areas,â?? Crapo said. â??Idaho personnel work every day to make us safe and they deserve the tools necessary to get the job done. Also, Idahoâ??s rural communities keep our state employed and it is crucial to provide healthy economic environments where small businesses can thrive.â??Other projects for Idaho included are:â?¢$300,000 for the Idaho-Montana partnership for Lewis and Clark Trail public safety initiatives for bicentennial activitiesâ?¢$150,000 to the Nez Perce Tribe for child protection services through the Childrenâ??s Justice Programâ?¢$75,000 for E-Commerce Certification for Lewis-Clark State Collegeâ??s Idaho Virtual Incubator for small businessesâ?¢$500,000 for the University of Idahoâ??s Deep Submicron Radiation Hard Electronics developments through NASAâ?¢$2.25 million for the Pacific Coast Salmon Recovery Fund for projects in Idahoâ?¢$500,000 to ISU for the Temporal Landcover Change Research Program to help detect and respond to threats to rangelandâ?¢$75,000 to the College of Southern Idaho for the Pro-Tech Program to promote regional job promotionâ?¢$2 million to the NASA Performance, Safety, and Mission Success Project at the Idaho National Laboratoryâ?¢$500,000 for the University of Idaho for Radiation-Tolerant Ultra-Low-Power electronicsThe measure, upon final approval by the House and Senate, will go to the President for final signature.FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.