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McNerney Backs Effort to Maintain Funding for Local Law Enforcement Program

Jun 26, 2008
Press Release

June 26, 2008

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11) voted to maintain funding for the important Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Program, which provides grant funding to state and local governments for such programs as drug task forces, community crime prevention efforts, substance abuse treatment programs, and other efforts to combat violent crimes.

The bill, H.R. 3546, passed the House by a vote of 406 to 11 yesterday.  It authorizes funding for the Byrne Program at the FY2006 level, $1.1 billion.  The Bush administration has repeatedly proposed eliminating funding for the program in its annual budget request.

“Byrne grants are an important source of funding for cooperative crime fighting initiatives, including both enforcement and treatment,” said Rep. McNerney.  “The fact that the President continues to propose eliminating funding is wrong and I’m pleased that we acted to ensure these federal, state and local partnerships will continue.”

In San Joaquin County, the Byrne Program grants help fund the Metropolitan Narcotics Unit, a cooperative effort among municipal police departments and the state to detect and arrest major narcotics producers, particularly those dealing in meth and heroin.

Similar legislation has already passed the Senate.  With House passage, the bill now goes to the President.