Homeland Security Grants Will Help Protect High-Risk Areas, Says Chairman Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) today praised the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for providing funding for high-threat areas, which is a key pillar of America’s homeland security strategy.

“In the post-9/11 world, we need to both maintain a baseline level of preparedness in each state through the state homeland security grant program and target resources to high-threat areas, as Secretary Ridge has done today,” said Senator Collins, whose committee has jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security. “These grant programs should work hand in hand.”

DHS today announced it would provide an additional $725 million dollars from the FY ’04 Budget for the Urban Area Security Initiative for grants to urban areas within the United States to help enhance their overall security and preparedness level to prevent, respond and recover from acts of terrorism. The urban areas are chosen based on a formula that takes into account factors including critical infrastructure, population density and credible threat information.

As Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Collins has made creating an effective, coordinated homeland security grant system a top priority. Earlier this year, Senator Collins introduced the Homeland Security Grant Enhancement Act (S. 1245), which would provide a steady stream of homeland security grant funds to states, simplify the grant process, and promote flexibility in the use of those funds. The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in June.