Senator John Kerry today announced that legislation he introduced over the summer requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to Congress on state homeland security funding was approved as part of the overall omnibus spending bill. This legislation was co-sponsored by Senator Kennedy.
The amendment would require the GAO to investigate how risk assessments that determine the level of counter-terrorism and disaster funding for Boston and other cities were made. The GAO would be required to provide Congress with an in-depth report of its findings. Urban Area Security Initiative and Homeland Security Grant Programs for Massachusetts decreased by 39.6%, or $23.3 million, from 2005 to 2007.
"Finally we'll be able to get reality-based answers for the city of Boston which has experienced deep cuts in counter-terrorism and disaster funding. Forcing the GAO to report to Congress will help us guarantee the government is following the 9/11 Commission's advice to spend according to risk. This is money to train and equip thousands of first responders for our security and we have a right to know why a major city like Boston doesn't seem to getting its fair share of counter-terrorism and disaster dollars. I look forward to reviewing the GAO's report and working with my colleagues to strengthen security in Boston."
The bill will be sent to the President for his signature.