Collins: More money for high-risk targets

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) recently introduced a bill that would direct more federal homeland security dollars to states and cities at higher risk for a terrorist attack while streamlining the process to make it more efficient.

The Homeland Security Grant Enhancement Act provides a baseline funding for each state, while doubling the amount allocated to those high-risk states and cities.

"My bill guarantees that rural states will receive their fair share of federal homeland security dollars. Every state has vulnerabilities and each should be ensured a baseline level of homeland security funding to assure preparedness," said Collins, chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, in a press release.

"At the same time, we need to distribute more funds according to risk and vulnerability to terrorist attacks," she added. "This legislation achieves both of these goals. It addresses the homeland security needs of small and rural states, as well as states with major metropolitan centers."

The bill also requires states to distribute at least 80 percent of federal funds to local governments and first responders within 45 days of receipt. It creates a one-stop Homeland Security Information Clearinghouse that would provide states and local governments with information on grant programs and the use of those federal dollars.

The bill directs the Homeland Security Department to establish a national domestic preparedness training center to help states develop, maintain, and adopt certifiable training standards for first responders. It also gives state and local governments greater flexibility in transferring those funds among different activities, such as training, planning, and equipment.

The legislation, which was passed by the Senate last October as an amendment to the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, has several co-sponsors including Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), and Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.).


  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.