Sarah Guy, Manager, Legislative and Media Affairs, IACP
n March 4, 2014, President Obama released his proposed budget for the federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, which begins on October 1, 2014. The president’s $3.901 trillion budget request proposes $1.065 trillion in discretionary funds. Of that amount, $1.014 trillion is consistent with the caps in the December budget deal (P.L. 113-67) negotiated by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA).
The annual release of the president’s budget begins the nearly yearlong U.S. federal budget process. The Senate has already stated they will not be releasing their own budgetary proposal, and the House has not made a final decision on whether they will advance their own budget proposal this year. Both the House and Senate will need to develop FY 2015 appropriations bills. Once both the House and Senate have approved their appropriations bills, they will work together to resolve any differences in a conference committee before sending final FY 2015 spending proposals to the president for his signature.
The president’s budget is never adopted without alterations from Congress, and the FY 2015 budget has already faced stiff opposition from congressional Republicans.
It is imperative that you tell your congressional members how important DOJ and DHS funding is for state and local law enforcement.
The president’s budget provides $27.4 billion for the Department of Justice (DOJ) in FY 2015, $122 million above the FY 2014 enacted level. Highlights of importance for state and local law enforcement include the following:
- $376 million for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) program, level funding with FY 2014.
- $274 million for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which supports an increase of $71 million for COPS hiring and Tribal Law Enforcement programs, for a total of $247 million to hire and retain approximately 1,300 law enforcement officers.
- $423 million for the Office on Violence Against Women.
- $147 million for state and local governments to help keep communities safe from mass casualty violence, including $75 million for the Comprehensive School Safety Program, which received funding initially in FY 2014; $55 million in grants to improve the submission of state criminal and mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; $15 million to improve police officer safety; and $2 million to develop better gun safety mechanisms to prevent the use of firearms by unauthorized users.
The president’s budget includes $38.2 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in FY 2015 to protect the United States from terrorist attacks; address critical capital needs; and carry out core homeland security functions such as transportation security, cybersecurity, disaster preparedness, and border security. This represents a 2 percent decrease from the FY 2014 enacted level. Similar to the president’s FY 2013 and FY 2014 budget requests, the FY 2015 budget proposal consolidates over a dozen of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s state and local preparedness grant programs, like the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), into one grant program called the National Preparedness Grant Program (NPGP). The president proposes funding the National Preparedness Grant Program at $1.04 billion, a significant reduction from the FY 2014 allocation to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s homeland security preparedness grants for state and local programs. NPGP would also move management of the consolidated grant program to the states. This proposal has been blocked by Congress in previous years.
We will continue to monitor funding for FY 2015 throughout the year and provide you with updates. If you have the opportunity to meet with your congressional members, it is imperative that you tell them how important DOJ and DHS funding is for state and local law enforcement. Explain to your member of Congress how you have used important grant programs like Byrne-JAG, UASI, State Homeland Security Grant Program, and COPS hiring to fund important programs and to hire and retain officers. Congress needs to hear from its constituents the value of these programs for your agencies and for your communities. Provide details on how funding reductions will have a negative impact on the ability of your law enforcement agency to operate and on public safety within your community.
To view the entire proposed FY 2015 budget, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget. ♦
Please cite as:
Sarah Guy, “President Obama Releases Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Proposal,” Legislative Alert, The Police Chief 81 (April 2014): 8.
From The Police Chief, vol. LXXXI, no. 4, April 2014. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.