Washington, DC – Senator Susan Collins today announced that Maine has been officially awarded $16,680,547 for homeland security efforts in the state by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It includes money for State Homeland Security Program grants, Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program grants, Citizen Corps grants, and Emergency Management Performance Grants. Senator Collins is the Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over DHS.
“This funding is important to strengthen and coordinate the state’s efforts to protect our communities, airports, seaports, and international border from terrorism,” said Senator Collins. “The grants support local first responders who would be the first to react to any terrorist disaster in our state and who are the eyes and ears of our communities. They also provide half of the State of Maine’s Emergency Management funds for non-homeland security disaster prevention, mitigation, and response with the State matching the other half.”
Senator Collins said that the DHS state grant program, which was established after the 9/11 terror attacks, has provided states with a vital source of funding to bolster homeland security efforts in the State of Maine. She expressed concern, however, at administration proposals to reduce the funding that smaller states like Maine will receive in the future.
“I am concerned that Maine and other states with significant homeland security vulnerabilities would lose funding for programs that prevent terrorists from attacking and help us prepare in case we need to respond” said Senator Collins. “I have reintroduced legislation that I authored that would ensure that rural states like Maine will receive their fair share of federal homeland security dollars. These dollars are essential for Maine to achieve and maintain a baseline level of preparedness.”
Senator Collins’ Homeland Security Grant Enhancement Act, which she reintroduced last month, was approved last year by the Senate. The legislation redefines the federal homeland security funding formula to ensure that all states receive a fair share of funding. It establishes a baseline level of funding that every state will receive to help prepare for, prevent, and react to terrorist attacks.
Senator Collins’ legislation also streamlines the homeland security grant process in order to deliver federal homeland security grants to local first responders more efficiently and expeditiously.