Monday, July 24, 2006

A hurdle cleared

Funding for the Paul Coverdell National Forensic Science Improvement Act has cleared a major hurdle -- the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has approved the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee bill which allots $18 million for Coverdell grants for FY2007 and an additional $175 million for separate DNA grants. Senator Shelby of Alabama was a key supporter of the funding.

There are still more steps in the budget process -- the next step is Senate approval. Many thanks are due to those of you who continue to contact your U.S. Senators -- your calls make a difference! Please don't hesitate to use the contact form on your Senators' Web sites to let them know that Coverdell funding is important to you.

Coverdell funding can be used for a wide range of forensic science needs -- latent prints (fingerprints), drug analysis, questioned documents, toxicology, DNA, firearms evidence, forensic pathology, and much more. It is available to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories -- it is awarded on through a grants system administered by the NIJ, and is not "earmarked" for pet projects of individual members of Congress.

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