President Obama’s proposed federal budget for the year starting Oct. 1, issued today, calls for a 2 percent increase in the Justice Department’s spending but a major cut in the Office of Justice Programs and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office, both of which provide state and local anticrime aid. Describing the reductions as “tough choices,” the White House still seeks $600 million to hire “first responders,” including police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
The proposed budget includes a solid increase for the FBI but a reduction for the Drug Enforcement Administration. It would cut funding for juvenile justice and child safety programs. The proposed budget calls for $50 million in cuts, “refocusing many formula and other grants into a new $120 million Race to the Top style grant that rewards states for tangible improvements in juvenile justice systems.” For many programs the Obama budget may signify a maximum potential allocation, because Republicans in Congress will seek further cuts in many federal programs.