Legislation Introduced to Increase Security Funding for Faith-Based Institutions
U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the Protecting Faith-Based and Nonprofit Organizations From Terrorism Act (S. 1539) – to authorize $75 million annually for grants to nonprofits and faith-based organizations to help secure their facilities against a potential terrorist attack.
Of the $75 million total, $50 million will be available for nonprofits located within high-risk urban areas, and the remaining $25 million will be available for organizations that fall outside of those areas. Under the legislation, funding may be used for target-hardening activities, training for personnel, and any other appropriate activity, as defined by the FEMA Administrator.
“Ensuring that synagogues, religious and cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations have the resources and training they need to secure their facilities is one way Congress can help address this unnecessary violence that has tragically become more and more common,” said Senator Portman. “As I’ve said many times, there is no place for hatred or bigotry of any kind toward our fellow citizens. The threats and attacks we’ve seen across our country are attacks on our values and this bipartisan bill will help protect faith and cultural based institutions in Ohio and across our country.”
“Places of worship should be a safe haven, where people can practice their religion without fear of being attacked. Tragically, the rise in the number of violent attacks at synagogues, mosques and churches across the country has shattered that expectation,” said Senator Peters. “We must do more to address these insidious threats, and stand up to the hatred and bigotry that drives them. This bipartisan legislation will help ensure that houses of worship, cultural institutions and nonprofit organizations in Michigan and across the country can enhance their security and continue serving our communities.”