The House Appropriations Committee's Homeland Security Subcommittee approved legislation that would cut the Port Security Grant Program and the Transit Security Grant Program to $250 million each in fiscal year 2010, well below both the authorized amounts and the amounts appropriated in FY09. In response, the Security Industry Association (SIA), Alexandria, Va., expressed disappointment.
SIA Director of Government Relations Don Erikson said, “We are very disappointed by the subcommittee's action. Many ports and transit systems remain far too vulnerable to criminal activity and terrorist attack, which is why we're baffled by the cuts in funding. Federal grants are a crucial source of revenue for facilities looking to enhance their physical security, and if the appropriations bill passes as written, a lot of projects intended to protect the lives and property of millions of Americans will be left unfunded."
SIA is working to have the bill revised to provide full funding for the ports and transit security grant programs and to ensure that grants are provided without local match requirements.