Legislation signed by President Bush in October will provide $20 million in homeland security funds to TEEX’s National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC), which trains tens of thousands of emergency workers each year to respond to potential terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
NERRTC will receive one-quarter of the $80 million approved for the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium under the 2005 Homeland Security Appropriations Act.
The $20 million matches 2004 funding levels, overcoming earlier budget recommendations to cut NERRTC funding by 62 percent, or $12.5 million.
Texas lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, were instrumental in convincing the Bush administration to restore the funding to TEEX, said Bill May, the agency’s director of operations for homeland security.
The appropriations bill also includes $4 billion for state and local assistance programs, including a 19 percent increase over 2004 levels for the Urban Area Security Initiative, which distributes terrorism preparedness grants to urban areas based on threat levels. TEEX serves as the State Administrative Agency for the distribution of homeland security funds for Texas.