New York is doing a better job than most states in spending federal homeland security aid since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, government auditors reported yesterday, says USA Today. Rep. Nita Lowey, a key member of the House Homeland Security Committee, is still concerned that too much money is stuck in a bureaucratic pipeline and not getting to communities fast enough. Government investigators said there have been significant delays in homeland security funding reaching the first responder front lines.
They said communities haven’t done enough planning on how to spend the money and have not always targeted the funds for terrorism preparedness. New York has spent 86 percent or more of its federal homeland security money between 2002 and 2004; states generally spent only 37 percent of their funds. “The homeland security grant process is broken,” said House Homeland Security Chairman Christopher Cox, R-Calif. He and Rep. Benny Thompson of Mississippi, the commitee’s top Democrat, introduced a bill yesterday aimed at making sure that nearly all federal homeland security funds go to places that face the highest risk of a terror attack. The bill would require states to pass through 80 percent of homeland security money to county and local governments within 45 days.