Several local projects are included in the final omnibus spending bill moving through Congress this week, including money for the Duluth Air National Guard base and the Duluth Transit Authority.
The $500 billion legislation also includes language that delays the U.S. passport requirement for land travel to Canada until at least June 1, 2009.
The bill wraps together the budgets for every federal department except the Pentagon and is expected to pass Congress this week so lawmakers can go home for the holidays.
The bill includes:
* $3.5 million to the Koochiching Forest Legacy project to preserve undeveloped forest land in Koochiching and Itasca counties. State and private conservation funds also are being tapped for the project that buys conservation easements for private land.
* $1.5 million for a new storage building for the 148th Fighter Wing based at Duluth International Airport.
* $1.25 million for the Superior National Forest to buy land within the forest boundaries from other owners.
* $1 million to the Laurentian Energy Authority, which turns waste wood into energy in Hibbing and Virginia.
* $780,000 to continue a federal wolf trapping program in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan near farms where livestock have been killed by wolves.
* $747,000 for Northeastern Minnesota law enforcement agencies for a methamphetamine reduction project.
* $450,000 to the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission for pre-disaster efforts such as sprinkler systems to prevent forest fires from destroying private property.
* $400,000 for the Duluth Transit Authority toward construction of a new downtown hub.
* $400,000 to the RECAP project planned for International Falls to generate electricity and steam from trash.
* $396,000 to Lutheran Social Services in Duluth to offer services for runaway, homeless and other at-risk youth.
* $376,000 for an enhanced 911 system for Itasca County.
* $282,000 to the Northeast Entrepreneur Fund in Virginia to provide technical assistance to small businesses.
* $242,684 for the College of St. Scholastica for a demonstration project to improve health-care quality and reduce costs in rural hospitals.
* $150,000 to the Mesabi Academy in Buhl to expand therapeutic services.
The bill also includes another $195 million for the collapsed Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, with $178 million already approved; $55 million for construction of the Northstar commuter rail line from Minneapolis to Big Lake; and nearly $17.5 million for a new armed forces training facility at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar. The bill also includes $100 million for St. Paul and Denver for security during next summer's national political party conventions.
The legislation delays a U.S. Department of Homeland Security regulation that everyone entering the U.S. by land from Canada have birth certificates beginning Jan. 31. The rule would have demanded passports for all land travelers crossing the border starting in July.
The bill would delay both provisions until at least June 1, 2009.
Sens. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., have worked to rescind or change the passport requirement, saying it may hurt cross-border commerce between Minnesota and Ontario. Coleman has proposed other identification options that are cheaper and quicker than passports, such as enhanced driver's licenses.
Democrats succeeded in reversing cuts sought by President Bush to heating subsidies, local law enforcement, Amtrak, housing and Bush's plan to eliminate the $654 million budget for grants to community-action agencies that help the poor.
Lawmakers shifted $6 billion from Bush's plans for defense, foreign aid and military base construction accounts.
The House was expected to pass the bill as early as this morning with the Senate to follow shortly.
The bill includes $31 billion for operations in Afghanistan and some domestic Pentagon needs, but no money for Iraq.
Republicans in the Senate are expected to add up to $40 billion for Iraq, but the House would have to pass it again over objections from anti-war Democrats.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.