Congressman Charlie Wilson (OH-6) voted to invest in improvements in education, housing and health care of the American people. The Labor, Health and Education Appropriations Act builds on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide short-term relief to struggling American families by shoring up our social safety net programs and long-term solutions to help grow our economy and build up the workforce of the future. In addition, the legislation includes a $600,000 earmark for Barnesville Hospital's Emergency Department and a $100,000 earmark for Southeast Ohio Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science.

"I'm proud to have secured $600,000 for Barnesville Hospital. It is a critically important resource that provides medical care in an underserved area," Wilson said. "Expanding the emergency room there will increase the efficiency and overall care of patients who rely on the hospital. It will provide additional space, improve patient access, increase patient privacy and allow more people to get needed care."

"In addition, I'm pleased that Congressman Zach Space and I could work together to secure $100,000 for Southeast Ohio's Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science (SEOCEMS)," Wilson said. "The funding will expand the reach of the center across Appalachia."

SEOCEMS is a project based at Ohio University, Athens with the participation of its five regional campuses and its two university partners, Shawnee State University and the University of Rio Grande. SEOCEMS projects help improve the following things: teachers' skills and understanding of science and mathematics content; teachers' access to effective materials and best practices for teaching and learning; school curricula; student achievement in mathematics and science; recruitment and training of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) educators and STEM education research.

The Labor, Health and Education Appropriations Act shores up programs that serve as crucial social safety nets for many Americans struggling to make ends meet in this recession. It includes funding to provide jobs, meals and other support services to impoverished seniors, as well as critical energy assistance programs that help heat and cool low income homes. The bill also funds grants that allow states to provide health care to more of their uninsured residents.

To build and train the next generation of workers, this bill includes funding to recruit and train health professionals in underserved areas and encourages our brightest doctors and scientists to develop the latest medical discoveries that will keep Americans healthy and reduce health care costs. The legislation also provides funds for programs such as the Teacher Incentive Fund, which encourages teachers to innovate and find new ways to engage students and help them learn, while boosting funding for literacy programs and college preparation programs for disadvantaged students.