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Security funding still too low

Many New Yorkers still fear another September 11-type attack, but lack of federal funding to provide the city with adequate security may leave the city vulnerable, according to two of the state’s top politicians.
For the second consecutive year, New York City may receive less in federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security than it did in 2005.
The 2007 fiscal year allocation proposal, totaling $134 million in grants, is a step up from last year’s $124.5 million, but a drastic decrease from 2005’s $207.5 million.
“I am deeply disappointed, especially given the recent attacks in London and Glasgow, that the Bush Administration would once again deny New York City the resources it needs,” said Queens Congressmember Joseph Crowley, who has allied with U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton to increase funding for New York City.
Clinton said she is “shocked” and “disappointed” with the department’s decision and plans to meet with the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff on July 12 to lobby for additional federal money.
In an impassioned letter to Chertoff, who himself told reporters that he had a “gut feeling” the U.S. faces a higher risk for a terrorist attack this summer, Clinton called upon the department to increase funding to New York City in order to protect the city from possible attacks.
“You have repeatedly stated that homeland security funding should be targeted to the most at-risk areas of the country. As you well know, New York City is an area where the risk is particularly high,” said Clinton. The proposed allocations for FY (fiscal year) 2007, are wholly inconsistent with the threats the New York City region continues to face.”
Last month, Crowley and his fellow representatives passed an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill to add $50 million for the fiscal year 2008 and did the same last year by adding $20 million for 2007.
These funds would be allocated through a program co-created by Crowley entitled Urban Area Security Initiative, which has garnered $530 million over the past four years.
“It’s unfortunate, however, that the Republican-led Department of Homeland Security continues to distribute much-needed homeland security funding without appropriate rhyme or reason,” Crowley said.

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