Maine, Vermont, and other small states have out-muscled California this year for federal anti-terrorism funding, forcing target-rich states temporarily to abandon their quest to allocate homeland security money based on risk, reports the Los Angeles Daily News. Lawmakers and lobbyists fighting to direct more money to Los Angeles, New York City, and other regions say that when the USA Patriot Act comes up for reauthorization this month it will retain the same formula to distribute about $2.9 billion in grants to police, firefighters, and other first responders.
“We have limited funds available. The funds should go where the risk is highest,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.), saying she will continue fighting to change the system that promises a minimum 0.75 percent of the entire pot for all states, with the remainder distributed based on population. Under that formula, smaller states have received more funding per capita than bigger ones, with Wyoming getting $27.80 per person in anti-terrorism grants compared to $8.05 per Californian. House lawmakers had sought to lower the minimum funding each state gets and distribute more based on risk of a terror attack. But senators on the negotiating committee – notably Susan Collins of Maine, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, and Patrick Leahy of Vermont, would not budge, congressional aides said.