By Meredith Mays, Legislative Representative, IACP
Congress recently passed the final portion of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, which will fund the government through the end of the current fiscal year, September 30, 2009.
The omnibus includes funding levels for the following primary law enforcement assistance grants administered through the U.S. Department of Justice:
- $532 million for the Edward R. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) formula
- $178.5 million for Byrne discretionary (earmarked) grants
- $550 million for Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) programs (no hiring)
- $30 million for Byrne competitive grants
- $40 million for drug courts
- $25 million for assistance to Indian tribes
- $400 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP)
- $190 million for Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) STOP grants
- $75 million for Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Part B state formula grants
- $55 million for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant
- $25 million for offender reentry programs
Although most of these programs are not fully funded, they are supported at levels much higher than they have been in recent years.
|DHS funding levels for law enforcement in FY 2009 (values in millions of dollars)|
|Note that there is no separate line item for the LETPP. In accordance with the 9/11 Act, 25 percent of funds from the|
SHSG and the UASI must be used for LETPP activities.
Congress previously passed appropriations for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all of FY 2009. The table above highlights funding levels for the primary law enforcement assistance grants administered through DHS.
IACP Leadership Attends Meetings in Washington, D.C.
In early March, members of the IACP leadership met with key administration, congressional, and agency officials on issues of importance to the law enforcement community.
In the meetings, members of the IACP leadership thanked many members of Congress and Vice President Biden for the inclusion of $4 billion in funds for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Members of the IACP leadership also encouraged officials to continue to restore full funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement assistance programs—such as the Byrne-JAG and COPS programs—during the regular appropriations process.
Additionally, members of the IACP leadership called for the creation of a national commission on criminal justice and homeland security. Such a commission, the first of its kind since 1965, would be charged with conducting a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system and would be required to provide the United States with a strategic plan to guide public safety and homeland security efforts in the years ahead.
As part of these meetings, the IACP released its Legislative Agenda for the 111th Congress. This document can be found currently in the “New @ IACP” area of the IACP Web site: www.theiacp.org.
New FEMA Director Appointed
President Obama recently appointed Craig Fugate to head the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).
According to the White House, Fugate started his career as a volunteer firefighter and paramedic and today oversees the Florida Division of Emergency Management, an agency with a full-time staff of 138. He was appointed in 2001 by then Florida governor Jeb Bush and was reappointed in 2006 by current Florida governor Charlie Crist.
Upon announcing the nomination, President Obama said, “From his experience as a first responder to his strong leadership as Florida’s Emergency Manager, Craig has what it takes to help us improve our preparedness, response, and recovery efforts, and I can think of no one better to lead FEMA. I’m confident that Craig is the right person for the job and will ensure that the failures of the past are never repeated.”1 ■
1White House, Office of the Press Secretary, “President Obama Announces His Intent to Nominate Craig Fugate as FEMA Administrator,” press release, March 4, 2009, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-Announces-His-Intent-to-Nominate-Craig-Fugate-as-FEMA-Administrator/ (accessed March 12, 2009).