News Releases

Murray Decries Cut in Homeland Security Funding for Washington State

Jul 18 2007

Murray working to restore additional cuts proposed for next year

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) criticized an announcement made today by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that Washington state would receive substantially less in Homeland Security Grant funding than it received last year. The 2007 funding level, which was passed by last year's Republican majority, represents an overall reduction of nearly $3.3 million in Homeland Security Grants for Washington state. 

"At a time when reports are revealing a resurgent al-Qaeda, and Secretary Chertoff is publicly airing his 'gut feelings' on an impending terrorist attack, I am deeply troubled that the Department of Homeland Security has decided to cut funding to our state," said Senator Murray. "It is past time for this administration to match their homeland security rhetoric with the investments needed to keep our communities safe."

Under the announcement made today, Washington state funding levels for 2007 in the three major Homeland Security Grant programs are as follows:

  • Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP) - $7,170,000
  • Decreased from 2006 by $2,090,000
  • State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) - $10,030,000
  • Decreased from 2006 by $2,700,000
  • Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) - $10,660,000
  • Increased from 2006 by $1,510,000
  • Total WA State Homeland Security Funding - $ 28,926,100
  • Decreased from 2006 by $3,295,888

Senator Murray is particularly concerned about the $2 million dollar cut to the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP) program that goes to state and local law enforcement for prevention of terrorist attacks, intelligence gathering, and information sharing.

"Our state's law enforcement agencies face new challenges and require better communications tools in order to prevent and respond to threats," said Senator Murray. "Yet the administration has cut their funding – forcing state and local law enforcement to fend for themselves. I will continue to work to provide law enforcement with funding to gather information, guard potential targets, and communicate effectively with one another."

Working to Restore Further Funding Cuts in 2008  

Senator Murray is currently working to provide more funding for the Homeland Security Grants program for Fiscal Year 2008. Unlike the 2007 funding, the spending levels for the Homeland Security Grant Program for 2008 will need to be approved by a Democratic-controlled Congress. 

Under the Fiscal Year 2008 Senate Homeland Security Appropriations bill, which was passed in the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee that Murray sits on, Murray has worked to restore $1.19 billion in cuts the administration has proposed for next year. (That legislation also passed the full Senate Appropriations Committee).

In particular, Murray worked to restore the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) to a funding level of $525 million. The President has proposed spending only $250 million in his budget. These grants help state, county, and local communities plan and prepare for major emergency response. 

Murray also helped to include $375 million to the LETPP program. The President sought to eliminate the separate LETPP program entirely for 2008.

"Already, the President has announced that he will make another massive cut to Homeland Security Grants next year," said Senator Murray. "Thankfully, my Democratic colleagues and I will no longer have to sit by while the President's budget is rubber stamped. In fact, we have already moved legislation forward that restores cuts that would have crippled law enforcement and first responders."