Pallone, NJ Leaders Express Serious Concern for Continued Decline in DHS Funding for New Jersey

Feb 2, 2016 Issues: New Jersey

Lawmakers Urge Agency to Ensure NJ Has Necessary Resources to Combat Threats

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) joined his colleagues from the New Jersey Congressional delegation in sending a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson to express concern about the decline in the state’s Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funding.  This grant program provides federal funding to local, state, and federal government agencies to assist in training and equipping first responders to prevent and protect against potential terrorist attacks and other hazards. For the last five years, New Jersey has seen a significant decrease in HSGP funding. In 2015, New Jersey was awarded $29 million, a $32 million decrease from 2010’s $61 million allocation. 

“Given the high threat environment in major metropolitan areas, it is deeply concerning that DHS has allocated fewer funds from this grant program for New Jersey,” said Pallone. “Our first responders should have the resources necessary to effectively address potential threats in our state. I look forward to continuing this conversation with Secretary Johnson.”

One component of the HSGP funding is the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), which addresses risks in high-threat, high-density Urban Areas, to enhance regional preparedness. The Jersey City/Newark UASI includes Middlesex County among others. New Jersey has made great efforts to provide law enforcement and first responder agencies with enhanced counterterrorism capabilities, and HSGP funds have been critical in that effort.

In the letter, Pallone and the New Jersey lawmakers requested a meeting with leadership from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and DHS officials to discuss vulnerabilities and threats facing New Jersey.

Along with Congressman Pallone, the signers of the letter include Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez (both D-NJ), and U.S. Reps. Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2), Tom MacArthur (NJ-03), Chris Smith (NJ-04), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11).

The full text of the letter can be found here.