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COPS Hiring Grants Would See Major Increase Under House Funding Bill

By Laura DeKoven Waxman
July 13, 2009


The House and Senate versions of the FY 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill moving rapidly through Congress includes funding for several key state and local public safety programs Ė notably COPS hiring grants, Edward Byrne JAG grants, and the Second Chance Act. While some of these funding levels are significantly higher than they have been in recent years through the regular appropriations process, they still do not reach the levels called for in Conference of Mayors policy.

The House passed its version of the bill June 9 on a vote of 250-157. The Senate Appropriations Committee reported out its bill on a 30-0 vote June 25. The House bill would provide $64.3 billion in discretionary spending next year, the Senate version $64.9 billion. The FY 2009 bill provided $57.7 billion through the regular appropriations process. The President requested $64.7 billion. Most of the increased funds go to the Census Bureau for the 2010 census.

Generally funding levels for key public safety programs are slightly better in the House bill. It would provide $298 million for COPS hiring grants; the Senate bill would provide $100 million. The House bill would provide $529 million for Byrne JAG grants; the Senate bill $510 million. The Second Chance Act is funded at $100 million in the House bill; $50 million in the Senate bill. The table below shows funding levels for these and other key programs in the House and Senate bills in thousands of dollars.

Restrictions on Sharing Trace Data

Both bills include similar provisions regarding the sharing of trace data. That language is consistent with the Administrationís proposed language contained in its FY 2010 budget submission. The contents of the Firearms Trace System database could be shared with federal, state, local, or tribal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, but data which is shared may not be publicly disclosed.