FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ted Muhlhauser
September 27, 2006 916/319-2054
Governor Approves Port Security Measure
Sacramento- A measure geared toward improving port security in California –
Assembly Bill 2237 by Assembly Member Karnette (D – Long Beach) – was signed into law today by the Governor.
“Sacramento finally understands that port security is a serious problem,” Karnette said. “The federal government has an extremely poor record on port security, so the state has to help them focus on cost effective solutions to keep our people, our goods and our economy safer from a possible attack.”
Both the U.S. Department of Homeland Services and the U.S. General Accounting Office have issued scathing, critical reports of the federal port security funding system. California receives far less port security funding per capita than many landlocked states. Worse than that, California routinely receives far less in gross grant dollars than is needed.
In the last round of federal port security grants, California ports received less than 10% of the available funds despite the fact that over 40% of the nation’s port activity occurs in California. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – the largest port complex in the United States and fifth busiest in the world – received approximately $12 million of the total $168 million federal port security grants. The Port of Oakland, one of the nation’s largest port facilities, did not receive a single penny in grants.
“When it comes to port security, Californians are demanding fair treatment by the federal government. Millions of people who live or work near ports could be in serious danger if terrorists attack our ports. When it comes to port security, California needs to help get the federal government back on track,” said Karnette. “AB 2237 is intended to make sure that the state and federal government make port security decisions based upon the best available information. We have more work to do, but AB 2237 helps right the ship and help navigate port security in a productive direction.”
Assembly Bill 2237 would specifically add port security as an annual reporting requirement for homeland security officials and require updated information on port security funding cargo inspections, cargo tracking and cargo screening. Members of California’s congressional delegation have issued proposals to improve port security funding, but none have been approved to date.
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