Appropriations bill includes $16.2 million in funding for North Texas Priorities

U.S. Capitol – Photo by Christopher Ryan/Unsplash

 

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Colin Allred, Texas-32, recently announced that as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, H.R. 2471, the omnibus funding bill that passed the House March 9 with strong bipartisan support, including nine Community Project Funding submissions for the 32nd District of Texas. This funding includes projects with bipartisan support like the Brute Force Electric Central Utility Plant at DFW Airport. These projects were recommended by Allred in coordination with a bipartisan committee of North Texas leaders he assembled last year.

The bill also includes $13.6 billion in emergency funding for security and humanitarian needs for Ukraine and it reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act.

“These community projects have bipartisan support and will help create jobs by investing in critical areas like transportation, health care, education, affordable housing and much more,” Allred said. “I am so proud of the committee we put together to recommend these projects and that our community-driven process has delivered for North Texans. In addition to our local investments, this bill will provide critical funds to aid Ukraine and it takes the long-overdue step of finally reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.”

 

Funding includes:

  • Children’s Health System of Texas Pediatric Mental Health Innovation Center – allocated $850,000 for the creation of a Pediatric Mental Health Center to help serve an estimated 600,000 North Texas children who face mental health issues.
  • Children’s Health System of Texas Pediatric Mental Health Staff – allocated $900,000 to hire a pediatric psychiatrist and up to eight licensed social workers to expand mental health services for patients in the emergency room and improve patient services.
  • Southern Methodist University Human Trafficking Project – allocated $1,187,000 to directly address the deficiencies in data collection and analysis and in collaboration of the expertise needed to effectively fight human trafficking in Texas.
  • Southern Methodist University Learning Loss Program for Underserved Students – allocated $900,000 to create a program to help students who experienced learning loss in Dallas ISD schools through augmented reality and virtual reality and game-based learning.
  • Resource Center Senior Housing – to meet the growing demand for care and services for the aging LGBTQ population in the Dallas community, the Resource Center was allocated $1,000,000 for the construction of an LGBTQ-friendly affordable senior housing facility.
  • UT Southwestern Center for Implementation Science, School of Public Health – allocated $1,000,000 to support the creation a research-intensive school dedicated to leading future advances in scientific methods to address population health challenges that can be leveraged into accessible evidence-based input for policymakers as they navigate chronic and emerging public health crises.
  • University of Texas at Dallas COVID-19 Student Impact Project – allocated $400,000 to support a study that will identify which college students in Texas have been most affected by COVID-19, where educational inequities have been exacerbated, and which institutional efforts show promise in retaining, supporting, and re-enrolling college students.
  • DFW Airport Flyover Bridge Replacement and Conversion Project – allocated $5 million, the maximum amount, to help replace four seriously deficient and vulnerable left-hand flyover ramps with new right-hand exit bridges in Terminals A, B, C and E.
  • DFW Airport Brute Force Electric Central Utility Plant – to address current and future heating and cooling demand, improve resiliency, maximize efficiency, and position itself to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030, DFW Airport was allocated $5 million, the maximum amount, to help construct a new Brute Force Electric Central Utility Plant and replace its aging steam piping distribution system with a highly efficient hot water piping system.

 

Last year the U.S. House announced new guidelines for Community Project Funding, which allow Members of Congress to support federal investment in community-based projects in the appropriations process. Allred led the creation of a committee of North Texans to provide recommendations for these projects. The committee includes leaders representing local government, small businesses, local chambers of commerce and non-profits.

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