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NYC gets more anti-terror aid for transit

(The Associated Press circulated the following on August 15.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. ó New York and northern New Jersey will get more than $50 million in the latest round of federal anti-terror grants to protect mass transit systems and ports, officials said Wednesday.

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to make the announcement on Thursday. Secretary Michael Chertoff indicated last month that New York should expect more money, and pledged 2007 would be the city's best year ever for federal anti-terror aid.

The New York and New Jersey metropolitan area will share about $37 million in transit security money, and slightly less than $15 million in port funds. It was unclear Wednesday exactly how the funds would be split between the two states.

By DHS figures, the new money would mean the New York area will receive more than $300 million in total from various federal anti-terrorism programs. The highest previous tally was in 2005, when the city got $261 million.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said the new figures "are very, very positive and a major step in the right direction."

The new round of grants comes from a pool of more than $200 million in federal funding for mass transit and port security.

Elected officials in New York have long complained that their share of national anti-terror funding from Washington falls short of the relative risk the city faces of terror attacks. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has argued that too much of the funding is distributed like political pork to rural areas, and Congress voted this summer to send a larger share to major cities.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

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