• New York: increase in security funding levels totaling more than $40 million for 2017
  • New Jersey: $7.5 million appropriated for security funding in 2016
  • Ohio: $100k grants to schools and religious institutions, totaling $7.5 million
  • Federal Government NSGP: $175 million since 2005

s sorokaIllinois House passes $25 million security fund bill

On Monday, the Illinois House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass House Bill 4011 which establishes a $25 million security grant-making program in the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. The program would award grants to at-risk nonprofit agencies and institutions based on detailed threat assessments. The legislation is one of two bills sponsored by House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) following the wave of anti-Semitic incidents including bomb threats against Jewish institutions, vandalism to synagogues, and desecration of Jewish cemeteries. Agudath Israel lauds the response of Representative Lang and thanks the 72 members who voted to pass the bill. On Tuesday, the bill headed to the Senate where it was sponsored by Senator Ira Silverstein (D-8), and after its first reading was referred to the Assignments Committee.

House Bill 4011 creates the grant program and  House Bill 4012 appropriates the funds. Should both parts of the legislation become law, $25 million would be made available to institutions to prevent or respond to attacks. Funds could potentially be used for security guards, target-hardening capital projects, and other security measures.

“While Illinois remains without a budget due to the political impasse, a security risk is not something that can wait to be addressed,” said Rabbi Shlomo Soroka, Agudath Israel of Illinois’ director of government affairs. “This is a very positive development and we hope that it will be brought to fruition.”

Rabbi Abba CohenAgudath Israel Applauds Increase in Security Funding for Non-Profits

Statement by Rabbi Abba Cohen, 
Vice President for Federal Affairs and Washington Director, 
Agudath Israel of America—

Agudath Israel of America welcomes the news that the U.S. Congress today passed bipartisan legislation allocating $25 million for the FY17 Non-Profit Security Grant Program (NSGP). This represents a $5 million increase over last year’s level and brings the appropriation up to where it was when the program began over a decade ago.

NSGP, which provides funding for security enhancements to high risk non-profit institutions, has been a top priority for Agudath Israel and other Jewish groups. With the dramatic rise in anti-Semitic incidents and with the ever-present threat of terrorist attack, our community institutions are especially vulnerable targets.

We are grateful that Congress understands this threat and, on a bipartisan basis, has in recent years steadily increased security funding to better protect the nation’s citizens and institutions against terrorist violence. Our community has worked hard to educate members of the House and Senate as to the incidents we have experienced and the dangers we face. NSGP is a major focus of Agudath Israel’s year-round advocacy in Washington, including during its annual National Leadership Missions.

Given the increasing threat, funding levels must continue to increase if NSGP is to adequately secure American institutions. Proposals are currently being considered that would double the program’s allocation. Such a boost will help provide more security to more institutions in more communities – enhanced protection that our nation urgently needs.”