This week, both the House and Senate passed plans appropriating federal funding. The Senate voted to approve $3.3 billion to preserve and protect the state’s water quality, infrastructure, and natural resources. The bill provides $1 billion to replace lead pipes, $700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities, $100 million in grants to remove PFAS chemicals from orphaned sites, and $85 million to install filtered water stations inside schools. Additionally, it appropriates funding to repair dams, conduct surface water monitoring, among other items. The bill will be sent to the House for consideration.
The House’s spending plan appropriates $368.5 million to support law enforcement and public safety personnel in order to help them better protect residents. This includes $57.5 million for a recruitment plan to help local departments hire officers now working in other states. It also provides funding to help offset the expenses of attending a police academy, reimburses lost wages and leave time for public safety personnel who miss work because due to a COVID-19 quarantine, and funding to support mental health assistance for law enforcement, firefighters, EMS personnel, and other public safety officers. The bill also includes policy changes allowing local law enforcement agencies to pay for a new recruit’s academy tuition and enter into a five-year employment contract with them. Other reforms expand the pool of qualified recruits, removes hurdles for returning officers, and provides resources for part-time public service assistant positions to perform routine law enforcement tasks. The bill will be sent to the Senate for consideration.
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