U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz announced last week the House of Representatives passed critical legislation for the 2010 fiscal year that includes funding for major projects in the Coastal Bend totaling more than $36 million for the area in the Consolidated Appropriations Act.

"I am thankful we were able to come together and pass this appropriations bill during a time of great need throughout the country," he said in a Dec. 11 statement. "This money will be put to good use in our communities in South Texas, and these projects are very important for the continued growth and development of our area.

"We will see new jobs, new and innovative projects and continued prosperity of our area through these appropriations as well as contribute to the future of our country.

Ortiz said the legislation also furthers his hope that the funding will ultimately help to improve he quality of life for residents in the Coastal Bend.

"We will continue to work with our communities as we strive to better serve the people," he said. "That is our ultimate and most important goal - to make South Texas a better place for all who live, work and visit the area."

Ortiz was instrumental in securing appropriations for the Coastal Bend, working on projects ranging from transportation to education to military construction.

The legislation also increases funding for infrastructure, health, and education to create jobs immediately while investing in our local communities and workforce for the long term. It invests $1.4 billion in training and support services for workers impacted by mass layoffs and plant closures. It also provides additional lending opportunities for small businesses having trouble borrowing capital in this market.

Below is a list of the appropriations for the Coastal Bend:

Transportation

$300,000 for Robstown Inland Port-Street Improvements $500,000 for the Corpus Christi Regional Intermodal Transit Facility in Robstown

Commerce Justice and Science

$700,000 for Shrimp Industry Fishing Effort Research Continuation in the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the country $250,000 for Texas A&M Corpus Christi Adjudicated Youth Program

Labor and Department of Health and Human Services

$24.8 million for the National Projects Innovation and Improvement Reading is Fundamental by the Department of Education throughout the country $18 million for the National Projects Innovation and Improvement Teach for America throughout the country $200,000 for the South Texas School Literacy Project at the Corpus Christi Independent School District $19.8 million for Corpus Christi Naval Air Station Operational Facilities for T-6 $4.5 million for Kingsville Naval Air Station Solar Panel Array $10.2 million for the Robstown Tactical Equipment Maintenance Facility.