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Fermilab Watches House Vote for Funding

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Workers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory are closely watching Congress to see if supplemental funding for physics research passes.

Fermilab’s budget was cut by $52 million last December. Since then, the lab’s workers have had to take unpaid time off, and 120 layoffs are planned. Now employees are watching to see if the U.S. House passes the Senate version of the G.I. Bill, which includes more funding for research labs. Fermilab’s Judy Jackson says workers are “cautiously optimistic.”

JACKSON: They realize the bill has passed a high hurdle, but they understand it has a long way to go. So I think it’s fair to say no one’s really counting on it. They’re certainly hoping that it passes, but I don’t think anyone is really counting any chickens yet.

There is some good news right now for Fermilab workers. An anonymous donor gave 5 million dollars last week to the University of Chicago to support work at the lab. That money has ended the unpaid furloughs.

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