Schumer: DHS Changes To Latest Round Of High Threat Homeland Security Funding Are Smoke And Mirrors NYC Likely To Get Short Shrift Again
New York Needs at Least Half of the Funding Allocated for All High Risk Cities to Reach 2005 Funding Levels Schumer Calls on Chertoff to Scrap Current System in Favor of Total Risk Based FundingAnnounces Plan to Introduce Bill to Change Formula if Chertoff Doesnt Act
In light of Fridays announcement by DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff on changes to high threat security funding for this year which could leave New York shortchanged once again, today Senator Charles E. Schumer called on DHS to scrap the current system for allocating money to cities and base it entirely on risk. For New York to reach an adequate level of funding it would need at least 50 percent of pot that is to be divided between six high risk cities, an unlikely dividend. Schumer today sent a letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff demanding the change to an entirely risk based system for allocating funding, and said that if DHS didnt make the change he would introduce legislation to change the funding formula.
Every time Chertoff makes an announcement about Homeland Security funding for New York, its like Groundhogs day, Schumer said. The peer review process was proven to be a disaster last time around, and somehow DHS has approved it as a suitable practice going forward, needless to say, Im skeptical. This is just another example of DHS playing a shell game with Homeland Security money and New York cannot afford to get shortchanged yet again.
For the fiscal year 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allocated $747 million in urbanarea grants to 45 cities across the country. The money will be split between the nations six highest atrisk urban metropolitan regions, which will receive 55% of the overall funding pot, and 39 other urban metropolitan regions, which will receive 45% of the overall pot. DHS uses a formula that distributes funding to an overall metropolitan area, not just an individual city. The following are considered high risk areas by DHS: New York City and Northern New Jersey, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and Long Beach, Chicago, Houston, and Washington, D.C.
In the past, DHS allocated separate grants to New York City, Jersey City and Newark, but this year it combined all three together and counted it as one metropolitan region. The six highest atrisk metro areas are slated to receive $410,795,000. Over the past year Schumer has repeatedly called on the Department to award New York City a minimum of the amount it received in the FY05 level, $207.6 million. In order for DHS to do that in FY07, it would need to award New York City alone half of what it allocated for all six Tier One cities to share.
In an effort to ensure that New York gets the money it needs from the Federal Government to protect itself, today Schumer, in a letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff called for the immediate elimination of the peer review process for all Homeland Security Grant Programs and institution of a system of review that is based on risk alone. Schumer said today that he would introduce a bill in the 110th congress to change the formula if DHS does not change it willingly.
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