Legislation includes funding for Maine shipyards, the largest pay increase for our troops in a decade, and important research dollars for UMaine
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Defense funding bill has been signed into law—legislation that is absolutely essential to our national security and includes a number of provisions that support Maine jobs in the defense industry, including Bath Iron Works, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and Pratt & Whitney.
“This legislation provides our military with the resources it needs to protect our nation from increasing threats around the world,” said Senator Collins. “Through my senior position on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I have worked hard to ensure that BIW, PNSY, and other defense industry employers in Maine have the resources they need to continue to support our military. The bill contains significant victories for Maine, including providing the largest pay increase for our troops in a decade, funding three DDG-51s and a down payment on an additional destroyer next year, investing in BIW shipyard infrastructure, and directing research dollars for the University of Maine.”
The FY 2020 Department of Defense funding bill includes $695.5 billion—an increase of $19.5 billion above the FY 2019 enacted level—and incorporates $1.8 billion for disaster recovery efforts.
Additionally, the bill includes a number of priorities Senator Collins advocated for:
· Troop and Civilian Pay Increases: The bill supports a 3.1 percent increase to military pay, the largest increase in a decade, as well as an average pay increase of 3.1 percent for civilian employees.
· DDG-51: The bill supports $5.1 billion for three DDG-51s, and a $390 million increase in advanced procurement for a down payment on an additional ship next fiscal year.
· Shipyard Infrastructure Investment: The bill supports $130 million, which BIW would draw on to make improvements to its digital design and shipbuilding technology.
· DDG-1000/FFG(X): The bill fully supports the budget requests for both the DDG-1000 programs and the lead ship of the next-generation frigate program to be awarded in 2020.
· F-35s: The bill supports an increase of 20 jets above the budget request of 78 (98 total aircraft).
· UMaine Research: The bill includes funding increases totaling $37 million for various Department of Defense research efforts.
· PNSY: The bill supports an increase of $625 million above the budget request for Ship Depot Maintenance, which is a Navy account that helps fund operations at PNSY. The committee also directed the Navy to continue its highly successful naval apprenticeship program at our nation’s public shipyards.
· Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP): The bill supports an increase of $19.5 million for PTAP, which assists small businesses in getting government contract work. Five Procurement Technical Assistance Centers in Maine help Maine small businesses win hundreds of millions in dollars in contract awards annually.
· CH-53K Helicopters: The bill provides funding for the U.S. Marine Corps to procure six CH-53K helicopters. Hunting Dearborn in Fryeburg produces important components for these aircraft.