During a speech before hundreds of emergency responders, planners and volunteer agency representatives at the State Emergency Management Agency's annual conference today, Gov. Jay Nixon called on the General Assembly to reverse dramatic cuts to public safety and homeland security funding in the budget passed by the Missouri Senate earlier this week.
"On countless occasions, here in Missouri and across the nation, we have seen the importance of local communities being able to effectively and rapidly respond to natural and man-made disasters," Gov. Nixon said. "Cutting by fifty percent the federal funds that help our communities respond to these challenges, as the Senate's Fiscal Year 2014 budget would do, is simply wrong. I urge the General Assembly to take the House position to support public safety and ensure our emergency responders have the resources they need to keep our communities safe."
The Senate's Fiscal Year 2014 budget included a $21 million cut to federal homeland security funds, representing about half of the funding that helps local communities prepare for and respond to emergencies like terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The Senate's budget also cut $1 million in General Revenue from the Department of Public Safety, including all the funding available for the Peace Officer Standards and Training Program (POST).