Padilla Joins Legislation to Restore and Modernize National Labs for the 21st Century

Bill would invest $30 billion in upgrades and improvements at DOE labs, including California’s four national labs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) joined Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), along with Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), in introducing the Restore and Modernize Our National Labs Act, a bill that would invest $30 billion in deferred maintenance projects and infrastructure improvements at America’s National Labs.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Laboratories are experiencing a maintenance backlog from decades of underfunding that puts the labs’ mission at risk. Significant new federal investments are needed to repair and update laboratories, administrative buildings, and critical infrastructure like roads and power plants. Making these improvements will keep the labs’ more than 40,000 employees safe and secure, and ensure that these research facilities are equipped to fulfill their mission.

California is home to 4 of the 17 DOE National Laboratories that would benefit from this funding, including SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory.

“Our nation remains a global leader in advancing science and technology because of our national laboratories in California and across the country. The infrastructure of these labs should reflect that. It’s vital we modernize and create reliable infrastructure for our nation’s labs so we can be better equipped to address the scientific and technological challenges of the future,” said Senator Padilla.

“Our National Labs, including Sandia and Los Alamos in New Mexico, have helped position our country as a global leader in innovation and scientific discovery,” said Senator Luján. “However, the labs’ success depends on critical infrastructure that is often decades beyond its usefulness. The Restore and Modernize Our National Labs Act funds necessary updates and upgrades that enhance our national labs’ capacity to address 21st century challenges like addressing climate change, creating and leading on industries of the future, and strengthening our national security. I’ll keep working to ensure that America’s national labs continue to have access safe, reliable, and efficient facilities, state-of-the-art technology, and a world-class workforce.”

“To stay at the cutting edge of global science and technology, the U.S. research community needs ready access to the latest equipment and up-to-date facilities,” said David M. Hart, Senior Fellow at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.  “Restoring and Modernizing DOE’s national labs to provide these essential resources is a no-brainer.” 

Bill text can be found here.


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