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LEGISLATIVE UPDATES
 

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 appropriations process is in full swing and several funding bills were approved this week by their respective subcommittees. Specifically:

  • The House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY2019 spending bill. The bill includes $6.6 billion for the Department of Energy Office of Science, which is $340 million above the FY2018 enacted level.
  • The House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY2019 spending bill, which provides funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), among other programs. The bill provides $8.2 billion for NSF, a $408 million increase above FY2018.
  • The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY2019 spending bill, which provides $1.42 billion for the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, a $10 million increase above FY2018.

Next week, the energy and water spending bill will be considered before the full House Appropriations Committee, and there will be a subcommittee mark-up of the transportation spending bill.

On the Senate side, subcommittee chairmen received their 302(b) allocations, which are the discretionary spending levels set for each of the 12 appropriations subcommittees. This will guide the subcommittees as they begin preparing their individual bills.

 
DC VISITORS
 
 
 

Bill Kramer and Kristin Williamson from Urbana's National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) were in DC on May 9 to participate in the Coalition for National Science Funding exhibition on Capitol Hill. The annual event convenes researchers from across the country to showcase NSF-supported research and education projects that are fueling American innovation. At the event, NSF leadership as well as legislators and their staff, stopped by NCSA's booth to hear about how the Blue Waters Petascale Supercomputer supports and extends NSF frontier science for the U.S. research community. Kramer also met with Illinois delegation offices and science committee staff to urge continued support for NSF during the FY2019 appropriations process. 

 
 
 

David Lange, a civil and environmental engineering professor from Urbana’s College of Engineering, testified at a April 18 hearing on the adoption of composite materials in strengthening infrastructure development. Lange was invited by Rep. Dan Lipinski, who serves as the Ranking Member of the Research and Technology Subcommittee within the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Lange also met with staff from the Illinois delegation to discuss infrastructure. Read more about the hearing here

 

On April 17, John Towns, executive director for science and technology at NCSA, met with Illinois delegation staff as part of an annual advocacy day for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). NCSA will be the central archive and U.S. data access center for the LSST project — processing, archiving, and serving the terabytes of data that will be collected every night of the decade-long survey.

 
DELEGATION ENGAGEMENT
 
 
 

Sen. Dick Durbin held a press conference at Mile Square Health Center on May 11 to discuss a bill he reintroduced, the Addiction Prevention and Responsible Opioid Practices (A-PROP) Act. Robert Winn, associate vice chancellor for community based practice, introduced the senator. Joshua Smith, a medical student at UIC who helped found the College of Medicine's "Street Medicine" rotation program, spoke about his experiences in witnessing the toll of opioid addiction and abuse. Christopher Holden, who serves as the director of addiction services at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, provided a clinical perspective on addressing opioid dependency.

 
 
 

Sen. Durbin also visited Urbana-Champaign on April 27 to speak at a conference held by the Prairie Research Institute. During the event, leading archaeologists from around the country, along with advocates, alumni, and Native Americans leaders, discussed the past and future of Cahokia — North America’s first prehistoric settlement. While on campus, Sen. Durbin also held a news conference on net neutrality. Pattie Piotrowski, the dean of the UIS Library, and Sally Jackson, a professor from Urbana's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, provided remarks.

 

Lauren Aycock, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow and science advisor to Sen. Durbin, separately visited the Urbana-Champaign campus for a variety of speaking engagements and meetings. Two of her meetings centered around collaborations that our faculty have with Department of Energy national labs.

 

Congressional staff from the offices of Sen. Tammy Duckworth and Representatives Rodney Davis and John Shimkus attended the groundbreaking ceremony on April 24 for the Siebel Center for Design at Urbana-Champaign.

 
DELEGATION SPOTLIGHT
 
  • Rep. Dan Lipinski was presented with the 2018 Distinguished Service Award by the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA).
 
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
 
  • Richard Clarida, a graduate of Urbana's Gies College of Business, was nominated by President Trump to serve as vice chair of the Federal Reserve.
 

Thank you,

OGR Federal Relations

Paul Weinberger and Melissa Haas