Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 31, 2006

State homeland security grants: crunching the numbers

Filed under: Budgets and Spending,State and Local HLS — by Christian Beckner on May 31, 2006

I’ve been analyzing the funding totals provided by DHS for state homeland security grants (see my previous post), after inputing them into a spreadsheet. It’s possible to draw some interesting inferences from the data, assuming it’s correct, given the fact that the numbers in DHS’s tables , when added up, do not produce the same totals that they list in their press release – a discrepancy that DHS will hopefully rectify.

That said, it is possible to do some analysis of the numbers. For example, the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) and the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Program (LETPP) are the two key base funding programs for all states. By law, the 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico all receive a minimum of 0.75% of this total, and three terrorities each receive another 0.25%. That accounts for 39.75% of the funds available for these grant programs – but what about the other 60.25%?

In previous years DHS distributed this balance of funds strictly on the basis of states’ populations. Not any more. If you net out the “mandatory minimums” that each state receives from the SHSGP and LETPP programs, you can determine how much DHS decided to give each state on a discretionary basis – and then weigh these totals on a per capita basis. If you add in the UASI funds that each state receives on a per capita basis to this total, you can get a pretty reliable proxy of what DHS thinks each state’s grant needs are, based on both threat and vulnerability. After following this methodology, that ranking is as follows:

FY 2006 Discretionary Homeland Security Grant Funding, Per Capita

(please credit to Homeland Security Watch if citing this analysis)

Ranking State Funding Per Capita
1 District of Columbia $85.39
2 New York $9.08
3 Nebraska $8.09
4 Illinois $6.48
5 Vermont $6.26
6 California $6.07
7 Missouri $6.07
8 North Dakota $5.93
9 Nevada $5.47
10 Massachusetts $5.21
11 Florida $5.11
12 New Jersey $5.07
13 Louisiana $4.94
14 Hawaii $4.44
15 Georgia $4.04
16 Kentucky $3.96
17 Delaware $3.89
18 Washington $3.86
19 Michigan $3.84
20 Texas $3.46
21 West Virginia $3.43
22 Oklahoma $3.36
23 Pennsylvania $3.33
24 Idaho $3.30
25 Wisconsin $3.03
26 Maryland $3.01
27 Oregon $2.91
28 Ohio $2.84
29 Colorado $2.83
30 North Carolina $2.59
31 Kansas $2.45
32 Indiana $2.14
33 Iowa $2.07
34 Arizona $2.03
35 Connecticut $1.76
36 South Carolina $1.72
37 Alabama $1.64
38 Wyoming $1.31
39 Alaska $1.23
40 Minnesota $1.12
41 Virginia $1.09
42 Montana $0.97
43 Tennessee $0.94
44 South Dakota $0.93
45 Maine $0.57
46 Rhode Island $0.54
47 New Mexico $0.51
48 New Hampshire $0.47
49 Mississippi $0.41
50 Utah $0.39
51 Arkansas $0.37
52 Puerto Rico $0.15

One very important limitation of this analysis: the DC statistic includes UASI funding for the National Capital Region, which is also distributed to the Virginia and Maryland suburbs, so its per capita total in the chart is overstated, and the VA and MD rankings appear lower than they are in reality.

Overall, I think this ranking confirms fairly closely to a solid assessment of threat and vulnerability, with a few notable exceptions at the top. Nebraska, Vermont, Missouri, and North Dakota received unexpected high levels of discretionary funding on a per capita basis – something that the Department will hopefully explain. Perhaps the quality of grant applications is an important factor in these results; if states provided solid spending plans tied to real vulnerabilities, then they may have received more discretionary funds than other states.

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May 31, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

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