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Case Ensures Continued Federal Assistance For Native Hawaiians In 2023 Omnibus Spending Measure

Funds will support innovative programs and initiatives to assist Native Hawaiians in education, health care, housing and workforce development

(Washington, DC) – Congressman Ed Case (HI-01), a member of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for all federal discretionary spending, today announced millions in funding and other actions he sought and secured that will directly benefit the Native Hawaiian community. The funds are included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill recently approved by Congress and signed into law by the President. 

Native Hawaiians are a unique community within our national fabric, and so are many of their challenges and needs, especially in health care, education and housing,” said Case. 

“I successfully sought millions in funding to support and advance various Native Hawaiian economic, cultural, educational and health initiatives. The 2023 omnibus spending bill builds on past funding increases I have been able to secure for Native Hawaiian-serving programs and includes new funding to support specific needs within the Native Hawaiian community.”

Provisions in the $1.7 trillion omnibus funding measure that Case sought and won approval for include:

Native Hawaiian-Serving Programs and Initiatives

·        Native Hawaiian Education: $45.9 million, a $7 million increase, for the Native Hawaiian Education Program (NHEP). Of these funds, Congressman Case also secured $10 million in set-aside funding to specifically fund construction, renovation, and modernization of Native Hawaiian schools and education program – the first time ever NHEP funds will be made available for capital improvements.

Congressman Case also secured additional report language directing the U.S. Department of Education to (1) provide sufficient funding to the Native Hawaiian Education Council and (2) offer technical assistance to quality applicants with experience educating Native Hawaiian children and youth. These new requirements seek to address concerns raised by Native Hawaiian education advocates and improve the program’s impact on Native Hawaiian community.

·        Native Hawaiian Health Care:  $27 million, a $5 million increase, for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Program.

Of these funds, $10 million will be made available to Papa Ola Lōkahi for administrative purposes including strengthening the capacity of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems and supporting additional activities such as expanded research and surveillance of Native Hawaiian health issues.

·        Native Hawaiian Housing: $22.3 million for the Native Hawaiian housing block grant program, which supports affordable housing and community development activities for Native Hawaiians eligible to reside on Hawaiian Home Lands.

·        Native Hawaiian Veterans: $5 million to create a new Center for Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islander Health inside the Department of Veterans Affairs. It will focus on research, data collection and potential practice improvements to better serve these veterans.

·        Native Hawaiian Health Research: directs the National Institutes of Health to provide a report to Congress on coordination of Native Hawaiian health research-related activities across the agency and with the Native Hawaiian community and to take steps to support the development of Native Hawaiian investigators. While Native Hawaiian health disparities are well documented, these populations are often left out of existing federal research initiatives that seek to improve the health status of other Native American communities. This report will help raise the profile of health disparities in Native Hawaiian communities and identify the current gaps in biomedical research specific to Native Hawaiians.

·        Native Hawaiian Resource Center on Domestic Violence: $2 million, an increase of $1 million, to support the continued implementation of the Native Hawaiian Resource Center on Domestic Violence. The Center will provide supportive services for adult and youth victims of family violence, domestic violence and dating violence in Native Hawaiian communities.

Congressman Case previously secured funding to establish the Center in Fiscal Year 2022.

Native American-Serving Programs and Initiatives

·        Native American/Hawaiian Museum Services: $3.7 million for the Native American/Native Hawaiian museum Services Program, which provides grants to Native American-serving organizations and federally recognized Tribes to sustain indigenous heritage, culture and knowledge through museum-related services.

·         Native  American Language Resource Center: $1.5 million, an increase of $1 million, to support the continued implementation of Native American Language Resource Center. The Center will support a consortium of higher education institutions in teaching and learning languages, including research on new teaching methods for educators and developing instructional materials, among other things.

Congressman Case previously secured funding to establish the Center in Fiscal Year 2022.

·        Native American Language Preservation: $15 million, a $1 million increase from last year, for Native American language preservation activities under the Administration for Native Americans.

·        Native American Job Training: $60 million, an increase of $3 million from last year, to support programs that provide quality employment and training services to Native Hawaiian Organizations, Tribes, Tribal organizations, Alaska Native entities and Indian-controlled organizations serving unemployed and low-income American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.

·        Native American Nutrition and Support Services: $41 million, an increase of $5 million from last year, for Native American Nutrition and Supportive Services grants to promote the delivery of nutrition and home and community-based services to American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian elders.

·        Native American Caregiver Services: $13 million, a $2.5 million increase from last year, to provide grants to support American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian families caring for older relatives with chronic illness or disability

Community Project Funding (CPF)

“I was also able to secure millions for worthy local community projects that will have a direct impact on Native Hawaiians and that would have been difficult to complete if not for specific and direct funding from Congress,” said Case.

Case-sponsored CPF projects to support the Native Hawaiian community include:

·        $1.7 million for the King Lunalilo Trust and Home to support capital improvements to the facility, Lunalilo Home is licensed as a Type II Expanded Adult Residential Care Home that provides housing and services to disadvantaged Native Hawaiian kūpuna .

·        $1.8 million for Kula no na Poe Hawaii (KULA) to provide academic supports and wrap-around services to children and youth of the Hawaiian homestead communities of Papakōlea, Kewalo and Kalawahine. KULA partners with neighboring public schools to improve student’s educational outcomes, classroom attendance and social and emotional learning through culturally sensitive interventions.

“In preparing my own CPF requests, I consulted with Hawai’i state and county governments, including individuals throughout the Native Hawaiian community and non-profits, applied my own knowledge and beliefs as to district needs, considered whether a project could obtain federal funding through other means, and made some difficult decisions given my limited number of CPF requests,” said Case.

The House’s CPF rules require that each project must have demonstrated community support, must be fully disclosed by the requesting Member, and is subject to audit by the independent Government Accountability Office. Case’s disclosures are here:

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. A detailed summary of the FY 2023 omnibus is available here.