Today Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif) announced that the seven month spending bill passed by the House last month, which she voted against, would weaken California’s security by reducing funding for critical security grant programs. These programs, including the State Homeland Security Program, the Port Security Grant Program, and the Transit Security Grant Program, have provided substantial resources to California, specifically Ventura County. In addition, reduced funding for border security contained in the legislation could mean the loss of nearly 900 Border Patrol agents.
“These cuts to homeland security programs would be very damaging to the Central Coast. It is important that our ports and major transit systems, like Port Hueneme and Metrolink, have the resources they need to protect our communities and ensure important economic hubs can operate safely and efficiently,” said Capps. “I’m also very concerned about the bill’s provisions that would reduce the number of Border Patrol agents. While there is a lot of debate about various elements of comprehensive immigration reform, I thought we all agreed that we need to make sure our borders are secure and that won’t happen by reducing the number of Border Patrol agents.”
Port Security Grant Program: The Oxnard Harbor District was awarded nearly $1.2 million to secure Port Hueneme in Fiscal Year 2010. Under the spending plan passed by the House, the Oxnard Harbor district would receive only $385,863 for port security, nearly a $780,000 reduction.
Transit Security Grant Program: Sothern California’s Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) was awarded approximately $2.6 million to secure its rail system. Under the spending plan passed by the House, Metrolink would receive only $776,000, more than a $1.8 million reduction.
State Homeland Security Grant Program: California was awarded nearly $107.5 million in Fiscal Year 2010. Under the spending plan passed by the House, California would receive approximately $94.5 million, a $13 million reduction.