WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), the first Delaware senator in more than 40 years to serve on the powerful Appropriations Committee, applauded the passage of the $1.4 trillion federal funding bill for Fiscal Year 2021 that invests in education and public health, bolsters national service programs that have been supporting community needs amid the COVID-19 response, and supports research on diseases like ALS and pancreatic cancer. The package passed Congress this week.

“As we continue to respond to the toll COVID-19 has taken on our country – including our health and education systems – community-based programs remain essential. This year’s appropriations package recognizes this by supporting our HBCUs, community health centers, and other local groups while setting a course for a community-led recovery through national service programs like AmeriCorps,” said Senator Coons. “I’m also thrilled the bill includes key long-range research investments in ALS treatments – a priority for the Senate ALS Caucus – and in pancreatic cancer, a matter of personal importance to my family and to so many families across the country.”

The federal funding bill includes provisions that will support health, education, and public service in Delaware and across the country, and provides:

·         A $57.2 million increase in Community Health Center funding, which will support centers – including Westside Family Healthcare, La Red Health Center, and Henrietta Johnson Medical Center – that provide Americans with critical health care, including testing and treatment of COVID-19

·         A $13 million increase to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including Delaware State University

·         $23.6 million to support Special Olympics education programs

·         A $40 million programmatic increase for AmeriCorps, which supports the efforts of more than 500 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members in Delaware

·         $40 million in funding for ALS research programs at the Department of Defense, which will support impactful research that is instrumental to the development of new therapeutics for ALS

·         $15 million in critical funding for pancreatic cancer research, a 250% increase, to support discovery and innovation in treatments for a disease that was the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Delawareans in 2020.

In addition to the health and education provisions within the 2021 funding bill, Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package on Monday. To see a breakdown of those provisions and other elements of the COVID-19 relief package, click here.