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Plant Genome Program

Ed Coe ed at teosinte.agron.missouri.edu
Wed Oct 1 12:56:44 EST 1997

Two news items!

** From the Council of Sci Soc Presidents:
For NSF, the conferees are recommending a total appropriation in this bill
of $3.429 billion.  This is an increase of 5% or $159 million over the FY
1997 level and $62 million more than the request for FY 1998.

For the Research and Related Activities Appropriations account, the conferees
are recommending a total of $2.546 billion.  This is an increase of almost
5% or
$114 million more than last year and $31 million more than the request. The
conferees agreed to provide an additional $40 million above the current $20
million level, to support an expanded plant genome research program.

** From the Amer Soc Plant Phys:
>Yesterday, September 30, House and Senate conferees reached agreement on NSF
>funding for Fiscal Year 1998 with an increase in research funding that was
>higher than expected.  Conferees are recommending a total of $2.546 billion
>for NSF Research and Related Activities.  This is an increase of $114
>million (almost 5 percent) more than the Fiscal Year 1997 amount and $31
>million higher than the President requested for Fiscal Year 1998.
>A major item in the agreement is the decision conferees reached on Sen.
>Christopher Bond's (R-MO) and the Senate's proposal for a new plant genome
>initiative.  The conferees agreed to Bond's proposed additional $40 million
>for an expanded plant genome research program.  According to the initial
>report, this sounds like a very positive development, since it provides a
>major new infusion of needed funds into plant genome research, is not
>limited to corn and is included in an appropriation that has far more funds
>for research than NSF requested, thereby making it possible for NSF to use
>new funds for this plant initiative.  However, we will know more when we
>read the actual conference report language as it is published this week and
>see in the months ahead how this program is implemented.
>ASPP campus contacts took the lead in urging support for the plant genome
>initiative; for an initiative that studied plant genomes as recommended by
>the Interagency Working Group and not just the corn genome; and for new
>funds for this program to protect existing plant research programs.
>As one example, an ASPP campus contact in Missouri urged inclusion of these
>provisions on the plant genome proposal in a meeting in Missouri he had
>personally with Senator Bond and organized a letter writing campaign to
>Senator Bond among many plant scientists at the University of Missouri.
>ASPP Committee on Public Affairs member Beth Gantt testified this year
>before House Appropriations Subcommittee members in support of plant
>research.  ASPP staff also worked with Senate committee staff, Bond's
>personal staff, NSF and White House officials on the plant genome issue. One
>of the concerns in the development of this proposal was that some
>influential growers who sought the genome initiative wanted the program to
>focus on the corn genome.  The work of ASPP campus contacts in writing their
>members of Congress was key to bringing research community concerns to
>discussions in Congress.
>The overall NSF appropriation for Fiscal Year 1998 is at $3.429 billion.
>This is an increase of 5 percent or $159 million over the Fiscal Year 1997
>level and $62 million more than the President requested for Fiscal Year 1998.

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