Oct 02 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the Senate unanimously approved his plan to improve the healthcare benefits of Guard and Reserve members by modernizing their coverage under TRICARE, the military health program. Graham submitted his proposal as an amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill for funding ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and is the only Senator who is a member of the Reserves. “I am pleased that my colleagues have come together in a bipartisan fashion to improve healthcare for the brave men and women who valiantly serve our country in the Guard and Reserves,” said Graham. “The sacrifice they make to defend our freedom deserves to be rewarded. This is an extremely significant step toward repaying their efforts; however, there is more to be done and more to come.” Under current law, members of the Guard and Reserve and their families can only enroll in TRICARE when called to active duty. The Graham provision:
  • Allows unemployed reservists and guardsmen and those that are not eligible for health insurance from their employers to enroll fulltime in TRICARE;
  • Provides TRICARE coverage to all guardsmen and reservists once they receive orders to deploy, currently they don’t receive their benefits until they actually deploy;
  • Allows all reservists and guardsmen to stay on TRICARE six months after deployment to ease the transition back to their private insurance.
“This amendment demonstrates a growing commitment of the Senate to providing continuity of care for Guardsmen and Reservists,” said Graham. “The next step is to ensure that continuity for all members of the ready reserve. We need to make sure that when the total force is called up, the total force is ready to go, fully trained, and medically cleared.” Graham noted there is strong bipartisan support for the idea in the House as well. Last week the House voted overwhelmingly to support giving Guard and Reserve members the option to enroll in TRICARE 356 to 67. “Since 9-11 there has been a seven hundred percent increase in the use of Guard and Reserve personnel,” said Graham. “We have not changed the benefits for these essential military personnel. It’s time we reward them for their service and patriotism, and make service to their country more attractive and fair.” “Recent deployments have led to one-fourth of all Guard and Reserve members being called to active duty. The stress on the Guard and Reserve force is beginning to show. The Army National Guard is almost 15% short of its recruiting goal; some 69,000 soldiers short. Hopefully this measure will begin to help correct this trend.” The amendment must now be passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law by President Bush. ####

Oct 02 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will receive $1.49 million in federal funds to support the South Carolina Computer Crime Center. The funds will be used to help offset the high costs of procurement, services, and training. In addition, the money will be used to assist SLED in addressing the new requirements in the South Carolina Homeland Security Act for lawful interceptions of communications. “Criminals have taken advantage of computers and modern technology to hide from law enforcement,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It is vital that we provide state and local law enforcement agencies with the equipment and training necessary to combat computer crimes, and bring these people to justice. This grant will help SLED better protect South Carolinians in the twenty-first century.” The funds were earmarked for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division in the Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, and have been previously announced. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Justice. ####

Oct 02 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind will receive a $154,204 grant to help ensure all deaf and blind students in South Carolina receive a high quality individual program of services that meet his or her developmental and educational needs. The funds will be used to support the creation of Regional Deaf-Blind Education Teams to provide technical assistance and training throughout the state. The teams will work with students, teachers and family members to help make certain the needs of deaf and blind students are met throughout the state. “This program will help South Carolina’s schools meet the needs of deaf and blind students, and provide them with the skills and education necessary to succeed in life,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####

Oct 01 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has been awarded two grants totaling $1.1 million. SCDNR will receive:
  • A $670,173 grant to support restoration efforts of 10,500 acres of wetland habitats on Bear Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Donnelley WMA and the ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge through the rehabilitation of dike systems and the replacement of water control structures.
  • A $507,674 grant to utilize high-resolution, multi-spectral imagery to analyze the distribution and characteristics of South Carolina’s shellfish resources, and make maps that will be available to management agencies and other users.
“South Carolina’s natural resources are one of our most valuable assets,” said Graham. “These grants will help preserve our scenic and recreational habitats.” The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. ####

Oct 01 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced Richland County School District 1 will receive a $743,517 grant to support the establishment of Richland One Middle College at Midlands Technical College as a public charter school for eleventh and twelfth grade students. The school will develop and implement a project-based tech-prep curriculum, deliver comprehensive guidance and career development strategies, and provide students with character education and leadership development. The program will provide students with a generic skill set demanded by employers that is necessary for success after high school. “It is essential that we provide students with alternatives to traditional education models in order to prepare them to enter the working world after graduation,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “Technical education programs teach students the necessary skills to excel in an area of their choosing, and prepare South Carolina’s students to be on the forefront of emerging technologies.” The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####

Oct 01 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, today announced Greenville County schools will receive two grants with over $925,000. Greenville Technical Charter High School will receive a $693,324 grant to support tech-prep education programs. The funds will be used to support a program in which students will earn an associates degree in engineering technology, while completing a rigorous high school curriculum. Greenville County School District will receive a $231,918 grant to support the Grove/Tanglewood Model Arts Project. Educators in grades 3 through 6 will receive training in arts integration techniques and identify entry points to integrate arts into the curriculum. Students will benefit from improved arts instruction, after-school arts programs, and concerts and residencies in the school and community. The program seeks to raise academic achievement, increase average daily attendance, increase positive character development and responsibility, and increase home/school relations. “These programs provide innovative approaches to education that will help improve academic achievement and increase student interest in learning,” said Graham. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####

Oct 01 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced North Safety Products in Charleston has been awarded a $10 million contract to provide items urgently needed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The contract calls for the delivery of chemical protective, rubber gloves. “South Carolina companies provide the tools necessary to protect the health and safety of our men and women in uniform,” said Graham. “Our armed forces are bringing freedom to an oppressed people, and making the world safer. They deserve the best equipment and supplies money can buy. The employees at North Safety Products should be proud of the role they are playing to win the War on Terrorism.” The contract was awarded by the U.S. Department of Defense. ####

Oct 01 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the National Dropout Prevention Center at Clemson University will receive a $699,312 grant to increase graduation rates of students with disabilities. The funds will be used to support programs that emphasize dropout prevention and re-entry into education by students who have already dropped out of school. The Center will organize and apply a network of knowledge and support sources, interact and collaborate with key organizations that provide programs and professional services, and utilize the expertise of researchers and practitioners to offer outreach activities and resources relevant to dropout prevention activities. “We have a responsibility to educate and inspire young people, and effectively communicate to them the benefits of staying in school,” said Graham. “This grant will help the Center do just that.” ####

Oct 01 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the College of Charleston will receive $6,782,000 in federal funds to renovate the Earth, Space & Technology Building. The renovated facility will house outreach facilities relative to NASA, the Departments of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Physics and Astronomy, Computer Sciences, and high technology computing labs. It will also include a public museum. “This funding will help the College of Charleston improves its programs, and provide a better educational opportunity for students,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “It will help them train tomorrow’s leaders in science and technology.” The funding comes from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The award was previously announced when it was earmarked for the College of Charleston in the 2002 and 2003 federal budgets. ####

Oct 01 2003

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, today announced Anderson County School District 5 will receive a $2.499 million Smaller Learning Communities grant. The Smaller Learning Communities Program is designed to support academic achievement through the implementation of and expansion of small, safe, and successful learning environments in large public high schools. “These grants will help South Carolina schools provide a more complete, effective and personalized learning experience for our students,” said Graham. “The small learning community programs promote achievement and are designed to work with students to address their interests and to encourage success in those fields.” The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. ####