Senate passes DHS tech bill

Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs

The Senate unanimously approved legislation last night that would create a program within the Homeland Security Department to transfer counterterrorism technology to state and local law enforcement agencies.

The Homeland Security Technology Improvement Act would allow for DHS to provide equipment and technologies to state and local levels for the improvement of investigations and the prevention of future terrorist attacks. DHS may also expand the program to include additional first responder groups.

To fund the intended program, the act would authorize $50 million each year for the DHS Office of Domestic Preparedness to establish and operate the program.

Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ranking Member Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) sponsored the legislation.

"We need to focus our efforts on preventing terrorist attacks before they occur. By providing counterterrorism technology to law enforcement agencies, we can help our first responders to become first preventers," Collins said.

The legislation now moves to the House of Representatives, to be referred to committee.

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