NYC spared cut in security fundingBy TOM BRUNE
May 19, 2011
WASHINGTON -- New York City was spared from the 20-percent cut that Congress made in a major counterterrorism grant program this year, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed Wednesday.
The New York City area, including Long Island, won $151.5 million from the Urban Area Security Initiative, the same amount as last year, despite the reduction in the grant program's overall funding, the department said.
"The highest-risk cities in our country continue to face the most significant threats, and the FY 2011 Homeland Security grants focus the limited resources . . . to these evolving threats," said department spokesman Chris Ortman.
The department is expected to announce that and other security grant awards Thursday.
New York City's urban area security grant award, which helps pay for training, exercises and purchases of radios and other equipment, is a momentary victory in a continuing battle over federal funding.
Last month, Congress approved a spending deal for the rest of fiscal year 2011 that cut about a quarter from all Homeland Security grant programs for state and local first responders, according to Ortman.
Last week, the GOP majority on a House Appropriations subcommittee voted for a proposal to cut those same Homeland Security grant programs by more than half in the 2012 budget.
That cut for next year still must be approved by the full Congress. Senate Democrats said they'll fight the reduction.
Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) praised Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for preserving New York funding in this year's grant awards.
"New York did very well. She deserves a lot of credit," said King, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.
He pointed to the Urban Area Security Initiative grants, which Congress cut for this year from $887 million to $732.5 million, to be shared by 65 urban areas nationwide.
Napolitano chose to keep the same level of funding for New York City while cutting the number of other urban areas winning grants in half to 32.
But the New York City area will get less money from two other programs: Its port security grants will dip from $33 million to $30 million, and its State Homeland Security Program funds will drop from $113 million to $91 million.