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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Another Win for Optics and Photonics in Rochester: House Approves Slaughter-Backed Funding Increase for University of Rochester's Laser Lab

July 11, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY) today announced that the House of Representatives approved legislation which would provide The University of Rochester $68 million in funding to go toward its Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) in Fiscal Year 2015. This legislation, representing a $4 million increase over last year’s total, marks the second year in a row that Congresswoman Slaughter has secured an increase in funding for the lab, which supports over 1,000 local jobs in Rochester’s optics and photonics field. Today’s passage in the House sets the legislation up for negotiations with the Senate to reconcile, bringing LLE one step closer to receiving the major funding it relies on to continue their innovative research.

Rep. Slaughter has continually fought hard for government investment in Rochester’s optics and photonics research and development centers. For many years she has been a vocal advocate of the lab, understanding that it is been a leader in developing innovative approaches to increase our energy independence and enhance our national security while playing a crucial role in New York’s growing high-tech economy.

“With our educated workforce and top-notch universities, Rochester has become a national leader in innovative research, and I’m glad that this funding increase will help us continue that trend,” Rep. Slaughter said. “The work that is being done at the laser lab moves us closer to energy independence, enhances our national security, and supports over one thousand jobs both at the laser lab and in spinoff companies that benefit from the lab’s research. I’m delighted that after months of work, we are once again one step closer to getting the laser lab the funding it needs to continue its innovative work.”

The LLE is an essential component to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) and High Yield Campaign. As home to two of the world’s largest and most powerful lasers (OMEGA and OMEGA EP), LLE is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the preeminent research facilities for the Department of Energy’s ICF and high energy density physics (HEDP) programs in partnership with two national laboratories (Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore). The LLE is the largest NNSA program at a university and the only facility that trains graduate students in ICF and HEDP serving as a vital pipeline of future talent that is critically important to our national and economic security.