Sen. Chris Coons applauded the passage of the federal funding bill for fiscal 2020, which passed Congress on Dec. 19, that includes funding to fight the opioid epidemic, improve college affordability and completion and support public service in Delaware.

“There is no state in the country that has not been impacted by the devastating opioid epidemic,” said Coons. “One of the most tragic things about this crisis is that it is both preventable and treatable. Strengthening our nation’s ability to combat this epidemic is a top priority for me. I’m proud that we were able to include $1.5 billion for opioid response grants to ensure that opioid addiction prevention programs and resources are available and properly funded. I’m also thrilled this appropriations bill includes investments to expand access to and improve the affordability of college, so that all Americans have the opportunity to pursue their higher education goals.”

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

— $1.5 billion for State Opioid Response Grants, which support prevention programs and bolster resources to help address the opioid crisis.

— $5.826 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants and $10.6 billion for Head Start to enhance access to high-quality childcare and school readiness programs for American children and families.

— $41.5 billion for the National Institutes of Health to support discovery and research that enhances national capacity for improving biomedical and public health.

— $386.6 million, a $25 million increase, for the Institutional Development Award program at the National Institutes of Health, grants from which help to expand research capacities across the state, including at the University of Delaware and Delaware State University — the largest one in DSU’s history.

— A $2 million increase for the National Diabetes Prevention Program, a partnership of public and private organizations that helps Americans prevent or delay type-2 diabetes by making it easier for those at risk to participate in evidence-based lifestyle change programs. More than 85,000 adults in Delaware have diabetes.

— A $25 million increase to the Corporation for National and Community Service, which supports the efforts of more than 500 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members in Delaware.

— A $150 increase in the maximum Pell grant, to $6,345, ensuring that Delaware college students eligible for the grant have increased support for the coming school year.

— $6 million in critical funding for pancreatic cancer research, to support discovery and innovation in treatments for a disease that was the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Delawareans in 2019.