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Peters Helps Advance Senate Appropriations Bill With Important Investments for Economic Competitiveness and Manufacturing, Public Safety, and Great Lakes

Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Act Includes Funding for Great Lakes Center of Expertise, Census, and CHIPS and Science Act Implementation

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) helped the Senate Appropriations Committee pass the Fiscal Year 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, bipartisan legislation to fund Michigan priorities, high-impact local projects and federal programs that support manufacturing, the economy and environment, public safety and law enforcement as well as cutting-edge research. The bill now advances to the full Senate. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is considering their own funding bills. The Senate and House will then need to reach an agreement on a final funding bill and have it pass both chambers before being sent to the President to be signed into law.

“This bill includes provisions that are important for keeping Michiganders and American safe, boosting our economic competitiveness and protecting the Great Lakes,” said Senator Peters. “I’ll keep fighting for these Michigan priorities as we work to fund the government, while pushing for taxpayer dollars to be used effectively.”

The bill includes measures led and supported by Peters, including:

  • Funding to support research examining impacts of potential oil spills in the Great Lakes: Would support the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory’s work as co-host of the Great Lakes Center of Expertise for Oil Spill Preparedness and Response, which Peters established into law and secured funding for. The NOAA facility, located in Ann Arbor, is state-of-the-art and conducting research in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes Center of Expertise in Sault Ste. Marie – to examine the impacts of oil spills in freshwater environments and develop effective responses.
  • Funding updates to modernize the Great Lakes Observing System: Would provide funding for NOAA’s Great Lakes Observing System to repair and modernize technology to support regional observations and prepare for the worsening impacts of climate change.
  • Funding to address harmful algal blooms: Would help mitigate the impacts of harmful algal blooms, including in freshwater ecosystems like the Great Lakes.
  • Funding to support Michigan Technological University’s Research on Autonomous Driving Systems: Would provide $2 million to support research and development for autonomous driving systems during inclement winter weather.
  • Funding for PFAS research at Michigan State University: Would provide $1.35 million to support research and tracking of toxic per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment.
  • Funding to enhance public safety in the City of East Lansing: Would provide $1.5 million to enhance public safety, including security cameras and other upgrades.
  • Funding for campus safety at Oakland Community College: Would provide $867,000 to assist Oakland Community College officers in making campus safety upgrades.
  • Funding for the City of Inkster’s emergency system: Would provide $272,000 for improvements for Inkster’s city-wide emergency warning system.
  • Funding for public safety enhancements in Muskegon: Would provide $190,000 in public safety upgrades for the Muskegon Department of Public Safety’s efforts during the more than 100 special events held in the community each year.
  • Funding for police cameras in Utica: Would provide $153,000 for Utica to help fund in-car cameras and body-worn cameras, which aim to improve transparency and build trust with residents.
  • Funding for the Census Bureau: Would provide funding for 2030 Census preparations and other key programs. As Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that conducts oversight of the U.S. Census Bureau, Peters is continuing to push for necessary census funding and to ensure Michiganders and Americans are accurately counted. Peters hosted the Census Bureau Director in Detroit last year to discuss 2020 Census undercounts that impact Michiganders and could cost communities access to important federal resources, including for housing, education and social services.
  • Funding to implement the CHIPS and Science Act: Would provide funding for the continued implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act, including incentives for expanding domestic semiconductor production. This is important for our economic competitiveness, lowering costs for consumers and protecting our national security. Peters secured a provision in the law to create a $2 billion incentive fund to support the domestic production of mature semiconductor technologies used by the auto industry.
  • Funding for the Manufacturing Extension Program: Would provide funding for the Manufacturing Extension Program, which Peters has championed, to offer technical assistance to small and medium-sized manufacturers in Michigan and across the country to ensure their continued competitiveness.
  • Funding to encourage entrepreneurship and startups: Would provide funding for the Department of Commerce’s Regional Innovation Program to cultivate entrepreneurship, new startups, new products and ideas to market.
  • Funding to support AI, Advanced Manufacturing and Cyber Research: Would provide additional resources for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct research on artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and cyber security to help strengthen supply chains and address critical workforce gaps.
  • Funding for law enforcement programs that reduce violent crime and emphasize community policing: Would provide important resources for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund effective law enforcement programs, including Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide partnership between federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutors that uses evidence-based and data-driven approaches to reduce violent crime. Peters has led efforts to reauthorize this program that has proven to reduce violent crime and improve collaboration between law enforcement and local community partners. It also funds the COPS Hiring program that works to make sure local law enforcement agencies have the necessary resources to hire officers with a focus on community-oriented policing.
  • Funding for continued implementation of the First Step Act: Would provide funding to continue implementation of criminal justice reforms created by the bipartisan First Step Act, which Peters helped enact into law. The bill also includes language to expand programs covered by the First Step Act, including medication-assisted treatment programs and recidivism reduction partnerships with non-governmental and faith-based organizations, and assisting returning citizens with securing identification documentation and benefits. 
  • Funding to improve school and community safety and reduce gun violence: Would build on the efforts of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which Peters helped enact into law, by providing resources for the Stop School Violence Act and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
  • Funding to prevent violence against women: Would provide funding for grants authorized by the Violence Against Women Act.  
  • Helping coastal communities provide additional monitoring and predictive capabilities to protect against severe weather: Includes report language that would provide additional monitoring and predictive capabilities to increase coastal resilience. This would build on Peters’ bipartisan Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act, a program he authored into law which will help states establish low cost revolving loan funds for local governments to carry out mitigation projects that make investments in more resilient infrastructure projects that can withstand coastal erosion, rising water levels, and severe flooding.
  • Builds on efforts to predict severe weather through a new demonstration program collecting space weather data: Includes report language that would push NOAA to continue developing a pilot program to purchase space weather data from commercial vendors for analysis, consistent with NOAA’s proven success with commercial weather data. This would build on Peters’ PROSWIFT Act, which was signed into law in 2020, to strengthen our nation’s ability to predict severe weather events and mitigate their harmful impacts on Earth.  
  • Preventing Department of Justice from interfering with state medical marijuana laws: Includes language to stop the federal government from interfering with states that have medical marijuana laws, including Michigan – ensuring that the prescribing and dispensing of medical marijuana in those states is both legal and regulated.