Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Bill That Funds CDC Office of Rural Health, a Hyde-Smith Initiative 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) on Thursday backed committee approval of the FY2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill, a measure that will support workforce development, health, and education efforts in Mississippi.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 26-2 to approve the measure, which spends $1.2 billion less than FY2023 to comply with budget caps imposed on discretionary spending.  Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, said she worked to ensure the Senate bill benefits workforce training programs, rural health initiatives, and education programs.

“The Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill is important to Mississippi as a rural state with a lot of needs.  This measure, which was negotiated on a bipartisan basis, makes balanced recommendations to meet the health, education, and workforce needs of our state and the nation,” Hyde-Smith said.  “I am pleased the bill provides resources for the CDC Office of Rural Health, something we’ve needed to ensure rural concerns get the attention they need.”

The bill provides $5.0 million for an Office of Rural Health at the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which was established through Hyde-Smith’s efforts during the FY2023 appropriations process.  The CDC Office of Rural Health is responsible for coordinating rural health efforts across CDC programs, and developing a strategic plan for rural health.

Elsewhere in the measure, the committee approved increased funding for career, technical, and apprenticeship education programs.  It also provides additional resources to battle the opioid epidemic.

Among the items of interest in the FY2024 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill for Mississippi are:
•    $8.6 million for Lawrence County Hospital Improvements
•    $3.2 million for the University of Mississippi Medical Center Psychiatric Emergency Services
•    $1.0 million for North Sunflower Medical Center Community Response Project 
•    $1.3 million for the Alcorn State Farm Equipment Operation Certification Program
•    $2.8 million for the Hinds Community College STEM Training Academy 
•    $94,000 for the Itawamba Agricultural High School Agricultural Science and Workforce Development Program 

In addition to passing the FY2024 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee also approved three additional measures on Thursday.  These actions mean the committee has approved all 12 annual funding bills for Senate consideration.  The start of the federal fiscal year is Oct. 1.