Homeland Security Funding Cuts Puzzle N.J. Officials

New Jersey firefighters get training in urban search and rescue techniques.

New Jersey firefighters get training in urban search and rescue techniques. Pam Fessler, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Pam Fessler, NPR

New Jersey authorities say they've made great strides since the Sept. 11 attacks in preparing for a terrorist attack. They think the state is a prime target — which is why they were surprised when their federal homeland security grants were cut more than 30 percent this year.

Matt Mayer, who heads the grant program for the Department of Homeland Security, says awards are based on a complicated formula that factors in population density, critical sites and threat. One element is the number of active counterterrorism cases in a state.

Mayer says there's pressure from every state for more money, and Congress has resisted efforts to award the funds based solely on risk. Even so, New Jersey has received more than $300 million in counterterrorism funds since Sept. 11.

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey says that because of the latest cuts, the state will now have to scale back its plans to purchase field hospitals, decontamination shelters,and protective clothing for search and rescue teams, among other things. He fears it will make not only the state but the region more vulnerable.

Department of Homeland Security 2004 Grant Awards for the Eight Most Populous U.S. States:*


Population: 35,484,453

Per Capita: $4.97


Population: 22,118,509

Per Capita: $ 5.24

New York

Population: 19,190,115

Per Capita: $ 5.41


Population: 17,019,068

Per Capita: $5.45


Population: 12,653,544

Per Capita: $5.85


Population: 12,365,455

Per Capita: $ 5.89


Population: 11,435,798

Per Capita: $ 6.00

New Jersey

Population: 8,638,396

Per Capita: $ 6.45

Top 10 Grant Recipients*

The following U.S. states and territories (plus the District of Columbia) received the largest DHS grant awards on a per capita basis in fiscal year 2004:

Virgin Islands


Per Capita: $104.35



Per Capita: $90.36

Northern Marina Islands

Population: 108,612

Per Capita: $54


Population: 501,242

Per Capita: $37.74

American Samoa

Population: 154,805

Per Capita: $37.54

District of Columbia

Population: 563,384

Per Capita: $34.16


Population: 619,107

Per Capita: $31.43

North Dakota

Population: 633,837

Per Capita: $30.82


Population: 648,818

Per Capita: $30.18

South Dakota

Population: 764,309

Per Capita: $26.32

* Source: Veronique de Rugy, American Enterprise Institute. Population data based on 2003 figures.



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