IACP Capitol Report

Volume 4, Issue 3 February 9, 2005

FY 2006 Budget Released; State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Programs Face Massive Cuts, Elimination
On February 7, President Bush released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2006. Overall, funding levels for assistance programs that are primarily designed to assist state and local law enforcement agencies were slashed by $1.467 billion when compared to FY 2005. This includes funding for assistance programs at both the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security. Department of Justice: Funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program, which was established last year by combining the Byrne grant program and the Local Law Enforcement Block grant program, was completely eliminated. This program received $634 million last year. In addition, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program was significantly cut in the proposed budget. The budget proposes $118 million for the program, down from $606 million last year, an 80% decrease. However, $96 million of this amount is actually funding that will be carried over from the FY 2004 budget. As a result, this means that the President has only proposed $22 million in new funding for the COPS Office. In FY 2005, these two primary law enforcement assistance programs received $1.24 billion. The Administration’s budget would fund these crucial programs at just $118 million – a cut of $1.12 billion or 90%. Comparison of FY 2005 and Proposed FY 2006 Funding Levels Program COPS JAG Total FY 05 Omnibus $606 Million $634 Million $1.24 Billion Proposed FY 2006 $118 Million $0 $118 Million Change from FY 05 -$488 Million -$634 Million -$1.12 Billion Percentage Change -80.5% -100% -90.5%

INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 4 4
FY 2006 Budget Released; State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Programs Face Massive Cuts, Elimination Senate Begins Confirmation Hearings on Chertoff Alberto Gonzales Confirmed as Attorney General

Legislative Update 1

The proposed FY 2006 budget continues a steady decline in funding levels for these programs in recent years As noted in the graph below, the funding levels for these programs have declined more than $2.3 billion since FY 2002.

Funding Levels for COPS/LLEBG/BYRNE/JAG FY 2001 - FY 2006
2500 2479 2186 2000 2191

Millions of Dollars

1500

1640

1240 1000

500

118 Proposed

0 FY 2001

FY 2002

FY 2003

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2006

In addition, the proposed budget would also eliminate funding for both the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program, which received $55 million in FY 2005, and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), which assists state and local governments with the costs of jailing illegal immigrants who have committed crimes not related to their immigration status. This program received $305 million in fiscal 2005. However, proposed funding for grants under the Violence Against Women programs remains fairly constant at $363 million, down slightly from $387 million in FY 2005. In addition, the Administration is seeking $177 million, up from $110 million, to help criminal justice professionals make better use of DNA evidence. Of this amount, $151 million is designated to help clear the backlog of unanalyzed DNA samples. Finally, the budget proposes $58 million to upgrade criminal records, up from $25 million in FY 2005. Department of Homeland Security: Overall, the Department of Homeland Security would receive a 7% increase over last year’s funding. However, despite the overall budget increase, the proposed budget includes significant cuts to two of the primary assistance programs from which law enforcement agencies are eligible to obtain funds: the State Homeland Security Grant program (SHSG), and the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). Funding for the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program remains steady at $400 million. SHSG funds are distributed to the states on a formula basis, 80% of which must be passed on to local governments. These funds are not designated solely for law enforcement use, but can be used to fund a wide range of other public safety agencies like fire departments and EMS who have responsibilities related to preparing or responding to terrorist attacks. The proposed funding level is $820 million, down 25% ($280 million) from last year. The Administration is also proposing changing the formula for distributing these grants, a move Congress has rejected in the past. Under the budget, every state would receive 0.25 percent of the total spending, down from the current 0.75 percent. A revised formula would then allocate funds based on the threat of terrorism, which would result in a loss of funds for small states and rural areas.
Legislative Update 2

There is also a decrease in funding for the Urban Area Security Initiative, from $885 million to $820 million, a 7.3% decrease. This program allocates funds to urban areas selected by the Department of Homeland Security based on a formula that takes into account factors such as critical infrastructure, population density, and credible threat information. However, the vast majority of law enforcement agencies are not eligible to receive funds under the urban area grant program, and will be forced to compete for funding assistance from a much smaller pool of money. Once the urban grants are excluded, the proposed funding levels for the vast majority of state and local public safety agencies is reduced by almost 19% from FY 2005 levels, and almost 45% from FY 2004. Combined DOJ/DHS Funding Proposals: When combined, the proposed FY 2006 funding level for DoJ /DHS assistance programs is $2.158 billion. This is a reduction of $1.467 billion or 40% from the combined FY 2005 level of $3.625 billion. It represents a decrease in $2.55 billion or 54% from FY 2004.

Funding Levels of Primary Direct Law Enforcement Assistance DOJ Programs: COPS/LLEBG/BYRNE/JAG DHS Programs: SHSG, LETPP,UASI,SLTP
5000 4908

4500 4191

Millions of Dollars

4000 3625 3500

3000

2500

2158

2000 FY 2003

FY 2004

FY 2005

FY 2006

Next Steps: The President’s submission of his budget proposal represents the first step in the federal budget process. Over the next several weeks, the House and Senate Budget Committees will begin work on drafting the Congressional Budget Resolution. This non-binding document serves as a statement of Congress’s priorities in the budget process. At the same time, the various subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will begin their efforts to craft the thirteen appropriation bills that actually fund the federal government. Throughout this process, the IACP will be working closely with Members of Congress and their staff in an effort to ensure that the needs of the state and local law enforcement community are adequately addressed in FY 2006.

Legislative Update 3

Senate Begins Confirmation Hearings on Chertoff
On February 7, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted to confirm Michael Chertoff, President Bush’s nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Chertoff is currently serving as a federal appeals court judge, but previously served as chief of the Department of Justice Criminal Division. In this role, he helped develop the USA Patriot Act, which enhanced the government’s surveillance and detention powers. The committee’s confirmation hearing was dominated by questions about Judge Chertoff's actions during his tenure at the Department of Justice and his views on interrogation and detention of terrorist suspects. Chertoff told Senators that he believed homeland security grants to state and local governments should be based on threats and vulnerabilities, rather than standardized population-based formulas for distributing money. “My philosophy is a risk-based, vulnerabilitybased formula is better,” Chertoff said. This issue has pitted lawmakers from high-profile metropolitan areas, whose communities stand to gain from a change in the formula, against those from more rural regions that could lose out. In addition, Chertoff said that he supports the colorcoded alert system used to warn the public about the threat of terrorist attacks. He defended the alert system, saying it helped the public understand exactly why certain security measures were being taken in their communities. While a Senate vote is expected shortly, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is considering a procedural move to delay the vote until he gets more information about Chertoff’s role in discussing terrorist interrogation techniques while he was at the Justice Department.

Alberto Gonzales Confirmed as Attorney General
On February 3, the Alberto Gonzales was confirmed as the new attorney general, despite considerable opposition from Senate Democrats. Just six Democrats crossed the aisle to join Republicans in the 60-36 vote in support of the Gonzales nomination. The vote reflected the deep split between Republicans and Democrats over the administration's counterterrorism policies and whether those policies led to the abuse of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere. Gonzales, who will be the United States’ first Hispanic attorney general, previously served as White House counsel. Prior to that, Gonzales was a judge on the Texas Supreme Court; Secretary of state for the state of Texas; and General Counsel for George Bush while he was Governor of Texas. On January 26, the Senate Judiciary Committee narrowly approved the nomination, on a strict party-line vote with all eight Democrats on the committee voting against confirmation. At first, many Democrats had joined Republicans in praising Gonzales’ nomination. However, some Democrats withdrew their support after the initial confirmation hearing expressing concern over what they termed Gonzales evasive answers about the Administration’s policies on the treatment of foreign prisoners. Gonzales, as head of the Justice Department, will be the lead player in the move to extend several key provisions of the USA Patriot Act that are set to expire at the end of the year. The Administration has announced that reauthorization of the Patriot Act is one of the Administration’s top legislative priorities for this Congress.

The IACP Capitol Report is prepared by Jennifer Boyter and Gene Voegtlin. If you have any questions, please contact the legislative staff at 1-800-THE-IACP. If you would like to have the IACP Capitol Report emailed to you as soon as it published, send an email to join-capreport@iacplist.org.

Legislative Update 4