RICHLAND -- Money for the Hanford nuclear reservation for fiscal 2012 could be approved at the level recommended by the Obama administration under an early step in the budget process.
Monday, the House Armed Services Committee chairman released the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2012.
"It's a first step in the right direction," said Pam Larsen, director of Hanford Communities.
On Wednesday, the bill will go before the committee, which could make changes. The House Armed Services Committee sets what is supposed to be the upper limit for spending for the Energy and Water Appropriation Bill.
The administration proposed an overall budget increase for Hanford in fiscal 2012, which starts Oct. 1, 2011.
Although money for activities under the Richland Operations Office would drop compared to fiscal 2010, the last year for which Hanford budget numbers are available, spending for the Office of River Protection would increase. Notably $840 million would be available for the Hanford vitrification plant, up from the $690 million it has received most years.
As for the current budget year, Congress passed a continuing resolution this spring for federal spending through Sept. 30, but Hanford workers still are waiting to hear how much of budget cuts in the continuing resolution will be assigned to Hanford projects.