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Congressman Higgins Votes to Approve Bill Funding National Public Safety & Research Efforts

Jun 18, 2009
Press Release

Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) voted with his colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve H.R. 2847, the 2010 Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriation Act.  In addition to the program funding that will benefit this region, the bill contains $400,000 in direct assistance, requested by Congressman Higgins, for two Western New York initiatives.

“This federal funding bill will help keep communities safer right here in Western New York and provide the education and research dollars to improve the nation’s competitive standing in the global marketplace,” said Higgins.

“During these difficult times our police face increasing challenges to keep our community safe,” said Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz.  “Through Congressman Higgins’ efforts this technology, the in-car video camera, will help to preserve the safety of our community and police force and also assist in the Buffalo/Cheektowaga border initiative.”  

Highlights of the bill include: 

Direct Assistance to WNY:

  • Cheektowaga: $200,000 for law enforcement technology for the Town of Cheektowaga
  • AmeriCorps: $200,000 for WNY AmeriCorps for programs to assist at-risk youth

Public Safety:

  • State and Local Law Enforcement Overall:  $3.4 billion for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention grants overall.
  • COPS:  $802 million for the COPS program.  This includes $298 million for COPS Hiring Grants.  When combined with the $1 billion provided in the Recovery Act for COPS Hiring Grants, this will enable the hiring of more than 7,000 police officers.
  • Byrne Justice Assistance Grants:  $529 million for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program.  These grants are used by local law enforcement agencies for a broad range of activities to better fight and prevent crime.
  • Violence Against Women Programs:  $400 million for programs designed to prevent and prosecute violence against women and strengthen services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 
  • Juvenile Justice:  $385 million for juvenile justice programs.  This includes: $80 million for competitive youth mentoring grants; $75 million for delinquency prevention grants; and $55 million for Juvenile Accountability Block Grants. 
  • Adam Walsh Act and Child Exploitation:  $325 million for the Adam Walsh Act and other sex offender and child exploitation prevention and enforcement programs.
  • Southwest Border Initiative:  $1.5 billion for activities to combat violence, stop the flow of illegal weapons and drug trafficking, bring dangerous criminals to justice, and improve law enforcement capabilities along the Southwest Border.
  • FBI:  $7.7 billion for the FBI, to address national security needs, including cyber crime, WMD incidents, and surveillance, as well as criminal law enforcement priorities such as financial fraud.

Science & Research:

  • Science Overall:  $30.6 billion for investments in science, technology, and innovation.
  • National Science Foundation (NSF):  $6.9 billion for the NSF – supporting the most promising scientific research at America’s colleges and universities.  This funding level continues to put the NSF budget on track to double over the next seven years, as called for under the America COMPETES Act.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST):  $781 million for NIST – to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by investing in scientific and technical research services.  The funding includes:
  •  Manufacturing Extension Partnerships:  $125 million to help small and mid-size manufacturers compete globally by providing them with technical advice and access to technology, as well as leveraging private funds to save and create jobs.
  • Technology Innovation Program:  $70 million to fund high-risk high-reward research into areas of critical national need done by U.S. businesses, colleges and universities, and national labs.
  • Science Education:  $1.08 billion for science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – education.  This funding is designed to give our young people the education and training they need – from elementary school through graduate study -- to become the innovation workforce of the future.
  • Economic Development Administration:  $25 million for green building initiatives
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology:  $15 million for the development of greenhouse gas emission standards.

“WNY AmeriCorps is proud to accept this local funding initiative that will allow us to bring together two of Buffalo's greatest assets; young citizens and the waterfront,” said WNY AmeriCorps CEO Mark Lazzara.  “We are excited to energize a Corps of young people dedicated to the responsible development and environmental health of the shores of Buffalo and Western New York.”

While COPS grants are competitive, looking at historical funding levels, it is estimated that New York State could put 675 more cops on the streets with the COPS funding included in the CJS Appropriations combined with that in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Congressman Higgins noted that through program elimination and funding cuts, the CJS Act of 2010 achieves a gross savings of $1.3 billion in comparison to 2009 funding levels.

This bill will now move to the Senate for their consideration and approval.