Washington, DC – Senator Susan Collins today urged the Senate Budget Committee to include funding to enhance states’ homeland security needs. The request calls for funding for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP), and a baseline level of homeland security funding to each State in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 budget.

“Reducing the level of funding for these valuable homeland security programs would severely hinder our first responders in their duty to prevent and respond to terrorist attack,” Senator Collins said. “Every state and local government, regardless of its size, has vulnerabilities and each should be ensured a baseline level of homeland security funding to assure preparedness. Drastically reducing this baseline level of funding will make it virtually impossible for states and localities to conduct necessary emergency planning activities.”

In her letter, Senator Collins urged Budget Committee leaders to continue providing each state with a substantial minimum level of funding and reject proposals to decrease funding for the State Homeland Security Grant Program and the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program.

Senator Collins has introduced legislation that would redefine the federal homeland security funding formula to target billions of dollars toward high risk states and cities while ensuring that all states receive the resources needed to prevent and be prepared for potential terrorist acts. The “Homeland Security Grant Enhancement Act” establishes a baseline level of funding that each state will receive while more than doubling the amount allocated to states and cities that are considered high-risk for terrorist attacks. It also streamlines the homeland security grant process in order to deliver federal homeland security grants to local first responders more efficiently and expeditiously.