Collins’ Committeee to Hold Hearing on Streamlining Homeland Security Grant Process

WASHINGTON, DC—On Thursday, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee, which oversees the Department on Homeland Security, and the Committee’s Ranking Member Joe Lieberman (D-CT) will hold the third in a series of hearings to examine how the federal government can more efficiently and effectively provide first responders with the federal assistance they need. Witnesses at this hearing will discuss the challenges facing state and local homeland security efforts and how federal funding for those efforts should be distributed.

Following the hearing, Collins plans to introduce the Homeland Security Grant Coordination and Simplification Act, legislation to create an interagency committee charged with eliminating duplication in planning requirements, simplifying the application process, and helping states and localities promote equipment interoperability.

“Federal programs, both within and outside the Department of Homeland Security, provide much-needed support to ensure a basic level of equipment and training among first responders,” Collins said. “Yet despite these overlapping goals, federal programs lack the very coordination that we ask of our states and communities. My legislation will ensure that federal agencies help – not hinder—state and local efforts to promote interoperability by collecting information regarding state and local initiatives and developing coordinated plans to provide needed technical assistance.”

WHAT: Hearing on “Investing in Homeland Security: Challenges Facing State and Local Governments”

WHEN: 9:30 a.m., Thursday, May 15, 2003

WHERE: Room 342, Dirksen Senate Office Building

WITNESSES: The Hon. Mitt Romney, Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts The Hon. Kwame M. Kilpatrick, Mayor, City of Detroit Art Cleaves, Director, Emergency Management Agency, State of Maine The Hon. Mark Stenglein, Commissioner, County of Hennepin (MN)