Supplemental bill boosts homeland security spending

Supplemental bill boosts homeland security spending

The supplemental appropriation bill passed yesterday by the Senate and sent to President Bush includes $251 million for state and local police agencies to cover expenses from Sept. 11. It also includes $45 million to upgrade wireless and landline first-responder communications in the Washington area. The House approved the bill Tuesday.

State governments have complained since Sept. 11 that the federal government has been stingy with aid for homeland security. The $28.9 billion supplemental appropriation includes funding for agencies ranging from the Defense Department to the National Gallery of Art to help them defray the costs of security.

Congress mandated that the $251 million for state and local police agencies pass through the Justice Department's Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program. It required the Office of the D.C. Chief Technology Officer to conduct a $1 million study of a first-responder communications system that would link all the local, regional and federal police forces in the capital area.

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