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Murkowski Pushes Department of Interior Budget

Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski

Before leaving for summer break, US Senator Lisa Murkowski revealed the results of the negotiations with Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jack Reed.  These negotiations resulted in the fiscal year 2015 Senate Interior Appropriations bill.

The Department of the Interior manages the majority of the lands, forests and waters in Alaska. Senator Murkowski is the Ranking Republican on the committee.  She says she is proud to hold that seat.

“And I never hesitate to do everything that I can for our state to ensure that Alaska’s priorities are reflected within the bill.”

The bill includes budgeting for lands and forests, seismic monitoring, improving Alaska’s National Parks and Alaska tribal priorities and rural communities.  Murkwoski says she’s excited and proud of the way she was able to create funds for the rural communities.

“So today I’m proud to announce the 2015 Interior Funding bill that Senator Reed and I sat down to craft that responsibly funds the Department of Interior’s far reaching programs while also addressing some core Alaskan priorities like contract support costs through the IHS system. The bill also delivers justice for tribes who were conveyed contaminated lands under ANCSA.”

Some of the programs that will be funded under the proposed bill include $71 million for staffing of new facilities across the nation, $351 million promoting and empowering tribal justice, $10 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Alaska Native Villages program and $12.4 million for Alaska subsistence. 

Murkowski says she understands that this bill is only the first step.  But she is looking forward to improving the bill by opening up the conversation to the House and Senate.