Cicilline Leads Fight to Secure Funding for Opioid Abuse Prevention, Veterans Mental Health, Afterschool, and Other Rhode Island Priorities, Totaling $28 Billion

Dec 21, 2020 Issues: Education, Energy, Environment, Fiscal Responsibility, Health Care, Housing, Immigration, Jobs and the Economy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) led the effort to secure multiple priorities for Rhode Islanders in the relief package that Congress is considering tonight. In recent weeks, Cicilline worked with House negotiators to ensure the bill addressed the opioid crisis, provided mental health services for veterans, funded afterschool programs, and addressed several other key issues important to Rhode Island.

“This bill provides new resources to fight opioid abuse, ensure veterans have access to mental health care, and give kids a safe place to go when their school day ends,” said Cicilline. “These are important priorities for all of us, but especially in Rhode Island.”

Among the priorities that Cicilline led the fight to include are:

  • $185 million for the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Grant Program (COAP), which gives law enforcement and first responders new resources to purchase naloxone and train personnel on how to use it.
  • $3 million for State Opioid Response grants, which reduce opioid overdose deaths through prevention, treatment, and recovery programs, including those focused on prescription drug abuse.
  • $115 million for the Veterans Crisis Line (a $4 million increase) so that servicemembers experiencing a mental health emergency can get the help they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • $1.3 billion for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (a $10 million increase), which provide afterschool programming for children who would otherwise be on their own at the end of the school day.
  • A one-year extension of protections against deportation for Liberian refugees living in Rhode Island.
  • $23.7 million for the Special Olympics Education Programs (a $3.6 million increase).
  • $22.5 billion for Pell Grants and an increase in the maximum award available to applicants.
  • $20 million for submarine workforce development initiatives.
  • $2.7 billion for the National Park System (a $111 million increase), including the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.
  • $127 million for the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR) and $17 million for Defense EPSCoR, two programs that provide millions of dollars for research each year at Rhode Island’s colleges and universities.
  • $25 million for gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • $360 million to prevent childhood lead poisoning (a $70 million increase).
  • $965 million for the National Marine Fisheries Service (a $123 million increase) to provide for the stewardship of Rhode Island’s ocean resources and their habitat.
  • $5 million for the prevention of hate crimes.