So after a long delay at Newark Airport last night, I finally arrived back in Portland. While Maine might not have the year-round sunshine like California, we certainly have a lot less traffic and natural disasters, which is a pretty fair trade off, in my opinion.
But, now it's back to work and as I sift through my 200 unopened emails, I've come across several interesting security-related stories that I thought I should share in an effort to get this blog back on track. (Sorry to those of you looking for my typical Friday fun blog, I've been having a little too much fun, lately).
An article yesterday in the Dallas News reports that President Obama has requested $2 billion more in funding for border security and law-enforcement on the Mexican border. The paper reports this will be an 8 percent increase for border and transportation security funding over this year and that a significant amount of the money will dedicated to technology and manpower to deal with illegal weapons and immigration.
There were several associations in the security industry who weren't too happy with Obama's 2010 budget.
The American Association of Port Authorities, for example, released a statement that it is disappointed, saying the administration has underfunded DHS's Port Security Grant Program.
The Administration's request calls for a 6.5 percent overall increase in DHS's budget for fiscal 2010, but recommends a significant decrease for port facility security funding over what Congress appropriated last year. In its proposed budget, the Obama Administration recommends the Port Security Grant Program-the only federal program that assists public ports to fund marine facility security improvements-receive $250 million in Congressional appropriations. While this is $40 million more than the fiscal 2009 budget request, Congress authorized $400 million for the program in the 2006 SAFE Port Act and approved a $400 million appropriation for port security grants in fiscal 2009.
Airports Council International, North America also released a statement expressing disappointment that funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) was not increased, given the need for critical airport infrastructure for safe and efficient air transportation. However, they did acknowledge a $100 million increase in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget for the procurement and installation of inline explosive detection systems, which it says is important for more efficient and effective screening of passenger checked baggage.