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Homeland Security is Top Priority on The Hill

The new-year is upon us and Homeland Security is a top priority for the U.S. Government. The Department of Homeland Security released the fiscal year 2007 grant guidance and application kits for five grant programs that will total roughly $1.7 billion in funding for state and local counterterrorism efforts. With the fiscal year 2007 funding, the department will have invested nearly $20 billion in local planning, organization, education, equipment, training, and exercises. In addition, the new Democratic-led U.S. Congress recently began work on homeland security legislation, a top priority for lawmakers. About half of the recommendations made by the bipartisan 9/11 commission to improve homeland security in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have been signed into law.

With the ever-increasing threat of terrorist attacks and natural disasters, congress is allocating big dollars and taking preventative measures to decrease these ongoing threats. The five programs that comprise the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) encourage a regional approach to strengthening homeland security. They emphasize interoperable communications, information sharing and citizen preparedness. HSGP fiscal year 2007 funding totals are:

* State Homeland Security Program (SHSP)- $509.3 million
* Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP)- $363.8 million
* Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI)- $746.9 million
* Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS)- $32.0 million
* Citizen Corps Program (CCP)- $14.6 million

More than 100 law enforcement, emergency management and homeland security experts from federal, state and urban areas will form peer review panels to assess this year's grant applications. Upon completion of the review process, DHS expects to announce grant allocations by summer 2007.

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