Homeland security secretary Tom Ridge is asking Congress to focus federal anti-terrorism aid on the areas most at risk. Ridge yesterday criticized a federal law that allocates money to states and localities on a per capita basis. Places like New York City and Washington, D.C., argue that the formula shortchanges them. Under a revised law, the Washington Post reports, New York received $1.38 per person and California $1.33; Wyoming got $9.78 per capita. Ridge called the traditional distribution formula one in which “everybody got a little bit and none of it would make a difference. . . . A catastrophic event is more likely in a densely populated area.”
Ridge announced a separate pot of $100 million that Congress set aside for at-risk cities. New York will get $25 million, D.C. $18 million, Los Angeles $12 million, Seattle and Chicago $11 million each, San Francisco $10 million and Houston $9 million.