Matheson Boosts Funding for Grant Program to Fight Drug Crime
Washington DC-Congressman Jim Matheson joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in introducing an amendment to increase funding for a federal crime-fighting grant program by $50 million. The boost to the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program was added during action on the annual spending bill that funds Science, State, Justice, and Commerce departments.
"This is a program that works-just ask any police chief, county sheriff or mayor. It helps police at the local level coordinate efforts to fight drug traffickers. Byrne grants are one of the best tools out there for winning the war against drug dealers in our communities," said Matheson.
Matheson said his amendment adds $50 million to the bill's $376 million amount for the program. The Byrne grant program was originally authorized by Congress in 1988. He notes that funding for local law enforcement through the Byrne Grant program remained fairly steady until 2001, when it began to decrease.
"When 26,000 Americans die each year from drug overdoses, it doesn't make sense to cut back on the law enforcement task forces that are taking criminals off the streets," said Matheson.