President Bush’s 2006 budget being sent to Congress today will propose a deep cut in federal grants to local law enforcement agencies, reports the Associated Press. The relatively tight $2.5 trillion federal spending plan responds to a string of record deficits.
The AP says the White House wants to cut a $600 million grant program for local criminal-justice agencies to $60 million. Grants to local firefighters, for which Congress provided $715 million this year, would fall to $500 million. The president would eliminate the $300 million the government gives to states for incarcerating illegal aliens who commit crimes. Congress has rebuffed that proposal in the past. Also gone would be assistance for police departments to improve technology and their ability to communicate with other agencies. If history is any guide, Congress is expected to restore many cuts after lobbying from law enforcement and other organizations representing justice agencies.