Meredith Mays, Legislative Representative, IACP
n February 1, the Obama administration released its proposed budget for FY 2011. The budget serves as a statement of the administration’s funding and policy priorities, and represents the starting point for the congressional budget process.
Significantly, at a time when many federal programs are targeted for reduction or elimination, the proposed FY 2011 budget maintains funding for most state, local, and tribal law enforcement assistance programs at levels that are equal to, or slightly higher than, current (FY 2010) funding levels.
For example, the proposed budget calls for $519 million for Byrne Justice Assistance (Byrne-JAG) grants in FY 2011. The Byrne-JAG program, which received $518 million in FY 2010, awards grants to state, tribal, and local governments to support a broad range of activities designed to prevent and control crime. This includes: law enforcement, prosecution, corrections, drug treatment, and technology improvements.
However, three assistance programs were slated to receive significant funding increases.
The administration has proposed funding the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program at $690 million. This is an increase of nearly $300 million from the FY 2010 level of $392 million. Of that total, $600 million is set aside for law enforcement officer hiring. This equates to roughly 2,900 officers. In addition to these proposed funds, in December, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Jobs for Main Street Act (H.R. 2847) that included $1.18 billion for COPS hiring programs. The Senate is expected to consider and act on this legislation in the near future.
The administration also proposed increases to two critical assistance programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSG), which provides grants to all 50 states to improve prevention and protection capabilities, was funded at $1.05 billion, an increase of $192 million from FY 2010. As in past years, at least 25 percent of SHSG funds must be used for prevention activities.
The Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), which provides grants to high-risk metropolitan areas, was funded at $1.1 billion, an increase of $242 million from FY 2010.
IACP President Michael Carroll, who was briefed on the FY 2011 budget by senior administration officials shortly after the proposal was released, stated that, “The proposed budget represents a good start and clearly indicates that the administration recognizes the importance of supporting state, tribal, and local law enforcement. The IACP will continue to work with Congress and the administration throughout the budget process to ensure that state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies have the tools and resources they need to protect their communities from harm.”
Senate Passes Jobs Bill, Does Not Include Funding for COPS Hiring
The Senate recently passed a $15 billion jobs bill that includes payroll tax reductions for businesses that hire new workers, extensions of the Highway Trust Fund, a new bond program, and expense deductions for small businesses. This legislation is in addition to the regular FY 2010 funding.
The Senate version of the bill reauthorizes the Highway Trust Fund through the end of 2010, adding $20 billion to the fund. Gasoline taxes will be used to help state and local governments pay for highway and transit projects.
However, the Senate-passed version does not include funding for the COPS hiring program, a provision that was included in the House of Representatives-passed version.
In late December, the House passed the Jobs for Main Street Act (H.R. 2847). The bill redirects $48.3 billion from repaid Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to save and create jobs in the United States. The bill includes $1.18 billion for COPS hiring grants and the funds may be used for hiring or rehiring.
Congress has indicated that the Senate-passed version will be the first step in a “multi-part” jobs agenda. However, the IACP has expressed concern that the COPS provision was left out of the Senate version of this legislation.
The House may now choose to pass the entire Senate version or go to conference to reconcile the differing versions of the bills. The IACP encourages a conference session where funding for COPS hiring may be included in the final piece of legislation.
LEOSA Expansion Considered in Senate Judiciary
The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary is currently considering expanding the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. This bill would weaken the eligibility and training requirements for retired officers to carry concealed weapons. The provision would lower the existing years of service provision from 15 years to 10 years.
The IACP is strongly opposed to this legislation. The IACP strongly believes that each state should retain the power to determine whether it wants police officers who are trained and supervised by agencies outside of their states carrying firearms in their jurisdictions. ■
Please cite as:
Meredith Mays, "Administration Releases Proposed Budget for FY 2011," The Police Chief 77 (March 2010): 8,
http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display&issue_id=32010&category_ID=5 (insert access date).