Updated: January 30, 2023
Congressman Ed Case of Hawaiʻi announced millions in funding to benefit the University of Hawaiʻi has been secured in the recently passed Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Omnibus Appropriations measure
Case serves as a member of the US House Committee on Appropriations responsible for all federal discretionary spending.
The funds were secured to strengthen the University of Hawaiʻi’s position as a major research institution and economic generator for the state.
The funds are included in the measure recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden.
“This funding measure continues to showcase a very productive partnership between our Hawai’i congressional delegation and UH, our flagship institution of higher education and engine of our economy, with its excellent record of attracting hundreds of millions in research funding,” said Case.
“In President Lassner’s report to the UH Board of Regents earlier this year, he referred to the result of our FY 2022 federal spending bill as ‘an excellent year for UH’ and thanked the Hawai‘i congressional delegation, ‘all of whom have been actively working on behalf of the State of Hawai‘i and the University of Hawai‘i with programs that will really help us serve our communities on every island.’ This year’s spending bill builds further on that foundation to provide UH with enhanced federal support.”
Case worked to directly support UH through his Community Project Funding requests by securing:
- $6.5 million for the UH Center to complete construction of the Early Phase Clinical Research Center on its Kaka‘ako campus. The 17,000 square foot outpatient early phase clinical trial clinic—the first of its kind in State of Hawai‘i—will provide Hawai‘i cancer patients who have exhausted traditional treatments with greater access to novel clinical trials across multiple disciplines. Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono also supported this request.
- $1.8 million for the Hawai‘i Public Health Institute to develop and train navigators to support kūpuna and family caregivers. This is a joint initiative between UH-Mānoa and the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute.
- $1 million for UH’s Office of Indigenous Innovation to establish an indigenous data science hub. This will engage students in experiential learning opportunities and foster collaboration between indigenous researchers and cultural practitioners in developing community-derived, culturally grounded and globally relevant climate resilience strategies. UH will administer this hub in North Kohala on Hawaiʻi Island. Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono also supported this request.
The FY 2023 omnibus spending bill also includes Case-requested support
for other key initiatives at UH including:
- $101 million for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, which includes the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at UH Mānoa. The NDPC, a seven-member professional alliance, is the principal means through which the Federal Emergency Management Agency identifies, develops, tests and delivers training to state and local emergency responders. The NDPC has trained over 2.5 million people throughout the United States and its territories.
- $302 million for the High Performance Computing Modernization Program in the Department of Defense, which supports the UH-managed Maui High Performance Computing Center.
- $38 million for the US Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program, which provides continuing support to the UH Hilo Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes.
- $83 million for the US Geological Survey’s Climate Adaptation Science Centers, which includes the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center based out of UH Mānoa. These Centers provide regionally relevant scientific information, tools and techniques to resource managers and communities in Hawai‘i in response to our changing climate.
- $4 million to support the work of the Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity at UH in advancing indigenous research and policy solutions to achieve health equity.
The FY 2023 omnibus funding measure also makes strong investments in major federal programs from which UH directly benefits such as the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“In my work on the House Appropriations Committee, I know that if I support these programs at the national level then UH and other Hawai‘i institutions and communities will benefit locally,” said Case.
Such programs of benefit to UH include:
- $470 million for Advanced Research Projects – Energy and High Energy Physics, which directly supports groundbreaking research at UH aimed at rapidly developing energy technologies that can address the nation’s critical economic, environmental and energy security challenges.
- $144 million for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Engagement, an increase of $7 million above the FY 2022 enacted level, to inspire young people to pursue future careers in science and engineering. This includes $45 million for NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project, which funds Hawai‘i STEM programs.
- $80 million for the Sea Grant Program, which supports coastal and Great Lakes communities through research, extension and education. These funds help support the Hawaiʻi Sea Grant Program at UH that concentrates on promoting healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, resilient communities and economies and environmental literacy and workforce development.
- $28 million for the Centers of Excellence program, a $4 million increase from last year. This program supports health professions schools across the country, including the Native Hawaiian Center of Excellence at the University of Hawai‘i John A. Burns School of Medicine, that seek to recruit, train and retain underrepresented minority students and faculty.
- $25 million to support facilities like the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope on the Island of Maui, the world’s most advanced solar observatory.
- $24 million for the Strengthening Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving Institutions program, a $3 million increase from last year. This program provides funding support to institutions of higher education in the States of Alaska and Hawai‘i including UH to improve and expand their capacity to serve Native Hawaiian students.
- $18 million for the Strengthening Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions program, an $8 million increase from last year. These funds help undergraduate institutions like UH expand their capacity to serve Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander students.
- $15 million for Energy Transitions Initiatives, a $5 million increase from FY 2022. This program, which aims to advance self-reliant island and remote communities through the development of resilient energy systems, helps recipients who face unique energy challenges due to their remote location, fossil fuel dependency and limited access to affordable infrastructure improvements.
- $9 million for the Resilient Innovative Sustainable Economies via University Partnership (RISE-UP) Initiative, a $1.5 million increase from FY 2022. This program seeks to leverage the technical expertise of public universities located in isolated states that play an important role in our national security. The universities are working to create incubators, develop and commercialize scalable technologies and build a workforce to meet future national security needs in areas such as clean energy and marine technology and economy.
Direct Support for College Students
The bill also includes $24.6 billion for federal student aid programs, which includes increasing the maximum Pell Grant award by $500 to $7,395 for the 2023–24 academic year.
It further includes $1.2 billion for the Federal Work Study Program, an increase of $20 million above the FY 2022 enacted level, and $910 million for the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, an increase of $15 million above the Fiscal Year 2022 enacted level.
Finally, Case also secured an instruction to the US Department of State to consider increasing the number of scholarships available for Pacific Islanders to study in the United States, many of whom study at UH. This is a key component of Case’s efforts to re-engage with the nations of the Pacific across multiple areas including education.
Case’s Appropriations Committee is responsible for allocating some $1.7 trillion in funding to federal government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis.