Budget roller coaster opens season

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By Roger Snodgrass

President Bush released a $3 trillion budget proposal for next year that includes a 7 percent increase for defense, plus additional costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan War.Of special interest to Los Alamos was the presentation of the Department of Energy budget by Secretary Sam Bodman Monday, which included requests for Los Alamos National Laboratory and the nuclear weapons complex.Los Alamos, according to one breakdown of the DOE budget, request would receive $1.838 billion in Fiscal Year 2009, a reduction of less than $15 million from the current year. After all the dramatic events related to the LANL budget last year, including plans for layoffs and voluntary self-selections, the laboratory break-out reveals that LANL actually received $50 million more in its FY 2008 appropriation, $1,852,802 compared to $1,800,324 in FY 2007.Overall, the Department of Energy Budget is positioned to go up by $1.073 billion next year, a 4 percent increase.The National Nuclear Security Administration budget would increase by $267 million or 3.3 percent. Weapons activities would increase by 5.1 percent, under the proposal.In a press statement, Sen.

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