SIA pushes for full funding

On Friday, the Security Industry Association called for full funding of the Transit Security Grant Program. Currently, the president’s fiscal year 2010 budget proposal is being reviewed by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. From the release:
“With nearly 11 million Americans taking trips on public transportation to save time and money every day, there is no greater moment for Congress and the federal government to reaffirm its commitment to safeguarding our nation’s public transportation infrastructure and protecting the Americans who ride these systems,” SIA Director of Government Relations Don Erickson said. “This can be accomplished by fully funding the Transit Security Grant Program at $900 million in FY2010 and ensuring that these critical resources are sent directly to transit authorities without a match requirement."
The program provides grant funds for bus, rail and ferry systems, and SIA's press release notes that several witnesses at a Homeland Security subcommittee hearing on March 12 talked about he importance of the funding to keeping passengers safe.
Transportation Security Administration Assistant Administrator John Sammon told the panel that the program "makes transit systems more secure by expanding the deployment of surveillance, monitoring and detection technologies to improve intrusion and anomaly detection, strengthen access control measures and otherwise add layers to harden facility security."
According to SIA, Congress appropriated $388.6 million for the program in fiscal 2009, about half of the amount it had authorized. Lawmakers have authorized about $900 million for fiscal 2010, but have yet to decide how much to appropriate.