N.J. delegation asks Dept. of Homeland Security to explain Jersey City area funding cuts

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The entire New Jersey delegation is asking the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to explain why their initial budget has slashed funding for the Jersey City/Newark area two months after a domestic terrorism incident.

U.S. Congress. Photo via Britannica.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The recent terrorist attacks in Jersey City tragically demonstrate that the potential danger to New Jersey and regional communities has not abated,” U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, along with U.S. Reps. Bill Pascrell, Christopher Smith, Frank Pallone, Jr., Albio Sires, Donald Payne, Jr., Donald Norcross, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Josh Gottheimer, Andy Kim, Tom Malinowski, Mikie Sherrill, and Jeff Van Drew, wrote in a letter to DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf.

“However, according to the recent DHS announcement on FY20 notices of funding opportunity and allocations, New Jersey is only eligible to receive between $6,153,600 and $7,692,000 in SHSP funds and between $15,240,000 and $19,050,000 in UASI funds.”

The letter continues that these figures reflect the lowest amount of federal dollars New Jersey has received in seven years, which would equate to drop off of 23 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

“As you know, funding determinations to keep our communities safe should not be made with politics in mind. As representatives from the most urbanized state in the country, we thank you very much for your time and attention to this important matter. We look forward to your prompt response.”

Earlier this month, HCV reported that state funding from the Urban Area Security Initiative, which falls under the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will be between $15.24 million and $19.05 in 2020, down from $20.05 million in 2019.

The announcement came just eight weeks after two active shooters killed four innocent bystanders on Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City: Police Det. Joseph Seals, Mindel Ferencz, Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, and Moshe Deutsch.