Nadler Victory Will Bring More Homeland Security Dollars to New York

Jun 15, 2004

Washington, DC -- Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) today introduced an amendment that was approved by the House Judiciary Committee during consideration of the "Faster and Smarter Funding for First Responders Act." Nadler's amendment will improve how federal homeland security grants are allocated to states by ensuring that areas that are most vulnerable to attack -- such as New York -- will get the resources they need to combat terrorism.

"This amendment is a huge victory for New York," said Nadler. "My amendment is a common sense approach to move away from a formula system and toward a system that more rationally distributes terrorism preparedness funds based on actual risk. This approach recognizes that every state needs some homeland security funding, but that key risk factors should carry more weight in the distribution of grants."

Under current law, the Department of Homeland Security distributes the State Homeland Security Grant Program by sending 0.75 percent of those funds to states equally, and then distributing the remaining funds based on competitive applications. Nadler's amendment would change the current funding formula by lowering the state minimum to 0.25 percent, which is approximately half the amount states receive today. This change would ensure that homeland security grants are available to the states most in need of counterterrorism funding, and that resources are not wasted on areas not considered highly vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

A state mimimum of .25 percent is consistent with other counter terrorism grant programs. As a point of comparison, the Health Resources and Services Administration bioterrorism funds have a .24 percent minimum, and the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) funds have a .25 percent minimum. Nadler's amendment reserves the right for states to apply for additional homeland security funding if their need for funds exceeds the .25 percent level established under the legislation.

"Because of the current funding formula, states vulnerable to terrorism like New York are competing with less vulnerable states. This amendment establishes a logical funding formula to ensure that those with the greatest need are not neglected," said Nadler.