Bipartisan legislation was introduced to authorize $75 million annually for the Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides grants to nonprofits and faith-based organizations to help secure their facilities against terrorist attacks.
U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati, and Gary Peters, D-Mich., introduced the Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations From Terrorism Act, according to a May 17 news release.
“Once again we are grateful for Senator Portman showing needed leadership,” said Howie Beigelman, executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities in Columbus, in an email. “Houses of worship, schools and community centers of any faith – in any place – should be safe spaces. Too many times in the last few months they’ve become battlegrounds. The terror attacks and tactics are changing. This legislation helps put a critical FEMA program to work defending against today’s threat and adapting our necessary preparedness.”
Of the funding, $50 million would be available for nonprofits located within “high-risk urban areas,” and the remaining $25 million would be available for organizations falling outside of those areas. Funding could be used for target-hardening, training for personnel and other appropriate activities as defined by the FEMA administrator between fiscal years 2020-2024.