Homeland Security to grant nearly $7 billion in 2004

The Homeland Security Department will issue approximately $6.9 billion in grant funding to state and local governments in 2004, according to a report released today by Reston, Va.-based research firm Input Inc.

That figure is down slightly from the $7.3 billion doled out in fiscal 2003.

"There are several cyclical homeland-security grant programs through which the majority of funds are distributed year after year," said Meredith Luttner, manager of public-sector operations at Input.

The report identifies three major homeland-security grant programs that accounted for nearly half of the funds distributed to states and local governments in 2003. Those three programs were the Office of Domestic Preparedness' State Homeland Security Grant Programs, the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and the Urban Areas Security Initiative.

According to the report, these grant programs will be refreshed in 2004 to a total of $3.7 billion, more than half of the total grant funding available.

In 2004, the renamed Homeland Security Grant Program will consolidate State Homeland Security Grant program with two other previously separate grant projects and have a total of $2.2 billion set aside for the new program.

The Assistance to Firefighters Program is anticipated to be valued at nearly $750 million for fiscal 2004. Another $725 million will be available through the Urban Areas Security Initiative grant program.

"Some trends can be identified by looking at these major grant programs in DHS. Grant programs are being consolidated and a concerted effort is being placed on pushing money to localities through the states," Luttner said.

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