Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has helped to secure $29,444,052 for port security efforts across Washington State this year. This is a $4.5 million increase over last year’s funding. The funds, which will now begin to be distributed to state ports, will go toward infrastructure security improvements including chemical detectors, cameras, security gates, access controls, and training and exercises.
‘These grants will help keep our ports safe and our economy secure,’ Senator Murray said. “This funding will go toward ensuring our state’s ports employ the right technology and training methods to help prevent possible attacks. Safer ports mean safer communities, stronger businesses and a better quality of life for Washington state residents.”
The funding for these grants was included in the Fiscal Year 2008 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. Senator Murray, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee and a national leader on port security, fought to include $400 million for this grant program nationwide.
Senator Murray was a principal author of the SAFE Port Act (P.L. 109-347), which President Bush signed into law in October 2006. Sen. Murray also wrote a letter last December, signed by twenty-five other senators, calling on President Bush to fully support the port security grant program and other important homeland security grant programs.
The funding included in the bill will be distributed to the following ports:
- Puget Sound (Ports of Seattle and Tacoma) - $27,263,241
- Port of Grays Harbor, WA - $178,026
- Washington State Ferries - $2,002,785