This is exactly as it should be in a funding framework that is governed by a strict analysis of threat, vulnerability, and consequence:
CASPER — A change in the way federal homeland security dollars are allocated has left some Wyoming officials wondering how the state will fare….
Although it’s not yet clear what [the new funding formula] will mean for Wyoming and other areas not among those 35 metropolitan areas, many in Wyoming expected to see their homeland security funding cut.
“It’s fair to predict that there will be fewer dollars coming to rural areas such as Wyoming,” said Natrona County Sheriff Mark Benton.
The reaction in Wyoming is actually a lot milder than the reaction of many politicians around the country today, in other states and regions that see their funding under threat. I don’t think the new UASI distribution formula is perfect, as I’ve mentioned in posts during the last two days, but I think it’s a lot better than any prior UASI formula that we’ve seen.
And I think we still have a long way to go. The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP), funded in FY 2006 at a level of $550 million, still provides baseline funding to states based on populations with a state minimum threshold of 0.75%, based upon language in Sec. 1014 of the Patriot Act that mandates these state minimums. Which means that Wyoming will still get at least $4.1 million of this $550 million, even though strictly on the basis of population they should get only $960,000 of this total.
If there’s one section of the Patriot Act that I would throw out, it’s that one.
Update (1/5): Fred Kaplan makes some of the same points in this article in Slate.