News Releases

Murray Announces Over $32 Million in Homeland Security Funding for Washington State

Jul 24 2008

Murray working to restore additional cuts proposed for next year

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that Washington state will receive over $32 million in federal Homeland Security Grant funding made possible through the Fiscal Year 2008 Homeland Security Appropriations bill.

The money will be used to help Washington state communities pay for emergency equipment, strengthen border security, and to continue to improve their emergency coordination efforts.

The 2008 funding level represents an increase of nearly $4.8 million for Washington state.  The increase was possible because Senator Murray and Democrats in Congress overcame veto threats from the White House and fought to ensure communities in Washington state and across the country have the resources to protect themselves in the event of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.  Senator Murray is a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee and a strong advocate of homeland security grants for state and local partners. 

“I’m proud that Congress stood up to the President and fought to secure this important funding for our local police, firefighters, and emergency managers,” Senator Murray said.  “Our state’s law enforcement agencies face new challenges and require better communications tools in order to prevent and respond to threats.  And this funding is an investment in our shared security.” 

Washington state funding levels for 2008 in the two major Homeland Security Grant programs are as follows:

State Homeland Security Grant Program

  • State Homeland Security Grant (SHSG) – $19,780,000
  • Operation Stonegarden for border enforcement – $2,520,000
  • The combined amount is a $5.1 million increase over 2007 of combined State Homeland Security Grant and Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program

Urban Area Security Initiative

  • Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) - $10,340,000
  • Represents a decrease from 2007 by $320,000

Total Washington State Funding

  • WA State Homeland Security Funding - $32,640,000
  • Represents an increase over 2007 by $4,780,000

Builds Upon Earlier Funding for Port Security

The funding Senator Murray announced today is in addition to over $29 million in port security grant funding for Washington state she announced in May 2008. 

The port security grant funding, which is currently being distributed to state ports, will help pay for infrastructure security improvements, including chemical detectors, cameras, security gates, access controls, and training and exercises. 

Senator Murray was a principal author of the SAFE Port Act (P.L. 109-347), which President Bush signed into law in October 2006.  A national leader on port security, she has used her position on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee to fully fund the authorized amount for port security grants in the SAFE Port Act.

Working to Restore Further Funding Cuts in 2009 

The Senate is now in the process of writing its 2009 Homeland Security Appropriations bills, and Senator Murray is again working to fight deep cuts to the Homeland Security Grant program proposed by President Bush.  For example, the President’s FY09 budget would slash the State Homeland Security Grant Program by $750 million and Port Security Grants by almost $200 million. 

Unfortunately, President Bush has already announced that he will veto any appropriations bill over his proposed budget level.

“Even as the economy creates more pressure on state and local budgets, President Bush continues to cut this important funding,” Senator Murray said.  “I will continue to fight to provide Washington state first responders, emergency managers, and ports with the funding they need to gather information, guard potential targets, and communicate effectively with one another.”