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Senate Appropriations Committee approves billions to support Californians.

Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded the Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval of all 12 fiscal year 2024 government spending bills which increases funding for programs that benefit Californians.

“Dozens and dozens of important projects that will benefit Californians have cleared a key hurdle in the Senate and are closer to being funded. The Senate Appropriations Committee drafted and approved government funding for next year that will support many of the top issues facing California such as fighting wildfires, mitigating drought and improving our water infrastructure, combatting homelessness, fighting climate change and providing good jobs,” Senator Feinstein said. “I look forward to working with my Senate and House colleagues to swiftly pass these important bills.”

While the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved all 12 federal spending bills, the full Senate and House of Representatives must also approve all spending bills. Once the spending bills are passed by both houses of Congress, President Biden can sign them into law.

Senator Feinstein, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, helped secure funding for the following projects:

Water Infrastructure and Drought Resilience

“California can’t survive without reliable water supplies. We must do everything we can to protect and efficiently use this precious resource,” Feinstein said. “The Senate’s appropriation bills provide new funding for water storage projects, water recycling projects, habitat restoration and other environmental projects so we can modernize our water systems and meet the demands of a state of 40 million people.”

  • $186 million for Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act provisions:
  • $134 million for water storage.
  • $20 million for recycling of wastewater for human use. The bill includes $50 million in total for water recycling from other sources besides the WIIN Act.
  • $12 million for desalination projects.
  • $20 million for environmental restoration.
  • $182.5 million for dam safety projects, including seismic improvements to B.F. Sisk Dam near Los Banos.
  • $20 million for repairs to critical canals that bring water to the San Joaquin Valley.
  • $33 million to fund habitat restoration projects, monitoring of fish species to pump water without harming fish, and coordinated operation of the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project.
  • More than $54 million for the WaterSMART program for water-use efficiency and conservation.
  • $30 million to continue development of drought response and plans.
  • $6.5 million to improve snowpack modeling to improve water resource management.
  • More than $450 million for Army Corps projects in California to increase drought resilience, flood protection and ecosystem restoration.

California Wildfires and Emergency Preparedness

      “Wildfire remains one of the biggest threats facing California, and it’s only going to grow due to climate change,” Feinstein said. “The Senate’s appropriation bills would ensure we’ll have the tools necessary to prevent wildfires before they start and rapidly fight them once they are burning.”

  • Includes more than $6 billion for wildfire suppression, fire management and hazardous fuels reduction projects on federal land.
    • $2 million to initiate a new health and wellness program for firefighters.
    • $5 million specifically for a firefighter housing improvement initiative.
    • Extends the pay cap waiver for federal wildland firefighters to ensure they can receive full pay for time worked.
    • $29.6 million for ShakeAlert, the West Coast Earthquake Early Warning System.
    • $338 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants and $338 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants.

Housing and Homelessness

      “Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis in California. We need to do more to both keep families in their homes and transition unhoused people into affordable housing,” Feinstein said. “The Senate’s appropriation bills would increase the amount of affordable housing available in California and increase protections so families will not be displaced from their homes.”

  • Provides more than $70 billion to support housing and homelessness programs, including those of particular importance to California.
    • $31.7 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance to help individuals find affordable housing.
    • $15.8 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance to expand the number of affordable housing units available to low income families.
    • $3.9 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants that provide funding for local communities to help homeless individuals and families find affordable housing.
    • $445 million for new tenant protection vouchers to ensure low income families aren’t displaced from their homes.
    • $30 million for to provide housing vouchers and supportive services to veterans.

National Defense Programs

“California is a leader in providing for our national security. The Senate’s appropriation bills would fund programs that keep America safe and create good jobs in our state,” Feinstein said.

  • $80 million for a Space Force facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base on the Central Coast.
  • $20 million to upgrade aerial firefighting tankers that fight wildfires in California.
  • $5 million for the Air Force to research atmospheric rivers, which is important for managing California’s water reserves.
  • $783 million for a fleet oiler ship to be built at NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

Congressionally Directed Spending Projects

In addition, the bills include more than $190 million for 75 congressionally directed spending projects requested by Senator Feinstein. A full list of those projects, including the amount funded and their locations, is available here.

Highlights include:

  • More than $30 million for water projects to address the severe drought across California.
  • More than $4.3 million for wildfire fuels reduction and emergency evacuation routes across Butte, Nevada and Tehama Counties.
  • More than $2.5 million for wildfire training programs to expand the number of wildland firefighters in California.
  • $1.5 million to continue expanding housing resources at the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus.