RealNews

Senate panel OKs grants for first responder communications

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday approved a measure that would authorize the Homeland Security Department to dole out $3.3 billion over the next five years to enable first responders to communicate better during an emergency. The bill, S. 1725, would authorize $400 million in state grants to strengthen emergency communications systems next year and increase the amount annually to $1 billion by 2010. It would establish an office of emergency communications, interoperability and compatibility within the Homeland Security Department. The office would replace the department’s interoperability and compatibility unit proposed earlier this year by the Bush administration. Full Story

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