Lawmakers approve funding

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, reports committee passage of the FY2010 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill, which contains specific funding for projects in Mississippi.

The following are items of interest to Mississippi included in the appropriations bill:

- $200,000 to support the creation of the Choctaw Native American Business Enterprise Center to enhance economic development opportunities

- $1 million for the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport to continue development of the Center for Marine Education and Research

- $750,000 to support availability of legal information and analysis through the National Sea Grant Law Center at the University of Mississippi

- $3.2 million to continue construction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northern Gulf Institute, a consortium led by Mississippi State University

- $3.7 million to the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology for equipment to advance seafloor research, mapping and exploration

- $6 million to continue construction of the Mississippi State University Research, Technology, and Economic Development Park

- $6 million to continue development of the Mississippi Biotechnology Research Park at the University of Mississippi Medical Center

- $3.2 million to support development and commercialization of new aquaculture technology through the University of Southern Mississippi’s Marine Aquaculture Center at Cedar Point

- $1 million for Jackson State University to continue development of a Regional Ensembling System for Atmospheric Dispersion Forecasting

- $2 million for the University of Mississippi National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law, the only center of its kind in the nation, to provide legal research and outreach on critical space and aviation law issues

-  $1 million for the University of Southern Mississippi National Formulation Science Laboratory for equipment and furnishings used in the creation, development and commercialization of advanced materials

-  $750,000 to support a University of Southern Mississippi technology industry partnership to promote the transfer to private-sector applications of advanced technologies developed at the NASA Stennis Space Center

In a separate item, Cochran announced Senate Appropriations Committee approval of the FY2010 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, and outlined a number of projects and programs funded in the legislation for Mississippi.

The following are items of interest to Mississippi included in the Interior spending measure:

-  $800,000 for the Center for Bottomlands Hardwood Research to continue Forest Service scientific research focused on wetland forests and associated stream ecosystems

- $350,000 for the Natural Resources Economic Enterprises Program to continue university activities promoting sustainable conservation practices

- $250,000 for the Advanced Housing Consortium to continue research to determine the strength and durability of certain forest product structures

- $2 million for the Holt Collier Visitors Center at the Teddy Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge

- $900,000 for the Center for Marine Resources and Environmental Technology at the University of Mississippi

- $250,000 to the City of Jackson for the rehabilitation of the office used by civil rights leader Medgar Evers for use as a library and museum

- $500,000 for restoration of the historic Madison County Courthouse

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