2003 Adopted Resolutions
71st Annual Meeting
Denver

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DIRECT LOCAL FIRST RESPONDER ASSISTANCE

WHEREAS, America's mayors are 100 percent committed to the homeland war against terrorism; and

WHEREAS, cities throughout the nation have already dedicated unprecedented, and mostly unbudgeted, resources to the new war on terrorism as detailed in a survey released by the Conference of Mayors which estimated that from September 11, 2001 through the end of 2002, cities spent an additional $2.6 billion on new homeland security priorities including equipment, overtime and training; and

WHEREAS, during the recent state of high threat alert, and the war in Iraq, a Conference survey estimated that cities across the nation spent over $70 million per week in additional security costs; and

WHEREAS, as part of the fiscal year 2003 supplemental funding bill, $2.34 billion was included for first responder assistance including: $1.5 million in state block grants (80 percent for local governments); $700 million for high threat areas as determined by the Department of Homeland Security; $200 million for state critical infrastructure protection grants (50 percent local); and $109 million for communications interoperability; and

WHEREAS, despite a major lobbying effort by the nation's mayors - in partnership with local first responders including police chiefs, fire chiefs, police officers and fire officers - the supplemental did not include direct formula assistance to the nation's cities; and

WHEREAS, the Administrations FY 2004 budget includes a request for $3.5 billion in additional first responders assistance, with no provision for direct formula funding,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on the Congress to pass, and the President to sign, legislation creating a new first responder funding program with direct local assistance and maximum flexibility to cover costs such as equipment, training, exercises, planning and overtime related to homeland security.