CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 4509, the State and High-Risk Urban Area Working Group Act. The bill was introduced on February 9, 2016, by Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) and was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, which ordered the bill reported, by voice vote, on March 23, 2016.
States and high-risk urban areas receiving State Homeland Security Grant Program and Urban Area Security Initiative funding, respectively, are required to develop multidisciplinary planning committees to determine funding priorities. H.R. 4509 expands the list of stakeholders that should be included in these planning committees to include public health officials and other appropriate medical practitioners, individuals representing educational institutions, state and regional interoperable communications coordinators, and state and major urban area fusion centers, as appropriate.
The State Homeland Security Grant Program assists state, tribal, and local governments in building capabilities to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism. In FY 2016, $402,000,000 was available to states for these activities. The Urban Area Security Initiatve provides funds for the equipment, training, and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas. A total of $580,000,000 was available in FY16.
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Section 2021(b)) already requires states and high-risk urban areas receiving funding under these programs to establish multi-disciplinary planning committees to oversee these projects. These planning committees assist in the preparation and revision of homeland security plans and assist in determining effective funding priorities. Currently, they include emergency response providers and local government officials.
According to the bill’s sponsor, “Emergency preparedness takes a whole community, but too often there is a disconnect between individuals and entities that play critical roles in disaster response. This lack of coordination makes it harder to protect against vulnerabilities and leaves our communities ill-prepared for disaster. Effective disaster preparedness requires that the right people are at the table when decisions are made about how federal grant funds are to be spent at the state and local level.”
 See http://www.fema.gov/fiscal-year-2016-homeland-security-grant-program
 See Rep. Donald Payne’s Press Release, “House Committee Passes Payne Bill to Ensure Effective Funding Priorities for Homeland Security Grants,” March 23, 2016.
A Congressional Budget Office estimate is unavailable at this time.
For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.