Beefing up security funds

News AASHTO Journal October 30, 2001
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Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.) has made public a $20 billion spending plan in support of "homeland security," which contains $5.8 billion in potential spending for highways, transit, rail and aviation security. A similar $18.5 billion bill in the House would provide $2.8 billion for transportation security.

Byrd has been asked to assemble several scenarios for a spending package that could be coupled with tax relief provisions from the Senate Finance Committee to form an economic stiumulus package.

The $20 billion package includes the following transportation security funding:

*Highways $2.5 billion;

*Transit security $1.1 billion;

*Airport security $1 billion;

*Amtrak improvements $900 million; and

*Amtrak security $300 million.

Byrd's proposal also would direct more than $3 billion to such efforts as bioterrorism prevention, including safeguarding the food and water supply, and assorted law enforcement and security.

Byrd stressed the intention of the bill was to combat fear, improve security and fund projects that would have long-lasting benefit to the nation.

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