State and Local Homeland Security: Unresolved Issues for the 109th Congress [Updated August 3, 2006]   [open pdf - 57KB]

"Arguably, the three most important homeland security public laws enacted following the terrorist attacks on September 2001 are: P.L. 107-56, 'Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT Act)'; P.L. 107-296, 'Homeland Security Act of 2002'; and P.L. 108-458, 'Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.' The PATRIOT Act focused on enhancing domestic security through antiterrorism measures, specifically, law enforcement and legal responses to terrorism. The Homeland Security Act established the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act restructured the U.S. intelligence community to better assist in terrorism preparedness and response. These key laws not withstanding, a host of important state and local homeland security policy issues remain, which the 109th Congress might address. Some of the issues include reportedly unmet emergency responder needs, the proposed reduction in appropriations for federal homeland security assistance, the determination of state and local homeland security risk assessment factors, the absence of emergency responder equipment standards, the development of state and local homeland security strategies, and the limited number of state and local officials with security clearances."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32941
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