Richardson calls on Congress to fund LANL/Sandia

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By Carol A. Clark

Gov. Bill Richardson got serious in a letter to members of the Congressional Appropriation Committees Tuesday with regard to the looming funding crisis facing New Mexicos two national labs. FY 2007 ends Sunday and many jobs may depend on the budgets outcome.

As governor of New Mexico, I am writing to you to express my deep concern over the proposed appropriation for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), which would signify cuts to these most important national security resources, Richardson stated in his letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Robert Byrd, D-Nev., House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey, D-WI, and six other Congressional Committee chairmen and ranking members.

I urge you, while working on the FY08 Energy and Water Appropriations bills, to take up the Senate funding levels that will allow the labs to continue their vital scientific work. In addition, as the end of the funding year nears, I respectfully request that you fund the Continuing Resolution at FY07 levels to allow (LANL and SNL) to continue their mission without interruption until Congress completes its work on the FY08 funding bill.

LANL spokesman Kevin Roark addressed Richardsons letter during an interview this morning.