WASHINGTON -- Texas is getting about $139 million from the federal government to prepare for and respond to potential homeland security threats, state officials said Thursday.
The money includes about $50 million from the Department of Homeland Security's Urban Area Security Initiative grants program and about $89 million from the Homeland Security Grant Program, said Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican.
Houston will get $18.5 million, Dallas will get $13.8 million, San Antonio, $5.8 million, Fort Worth $5.3 million and Arlington $5 million through the urban grants program, said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, also a Republican.
"These funds will allow Texas' largest cities to take unprecedented steps for the safety of their citizens," Hutchison said.
Texas officials were particularly thrilled by the grant for Fort Worth, which did not receive money through the program last year.
"Though much remains to be done in the fight against terror around the world, we must remain focused on critical security needs here at home," Cornyn said.
The grants have been a source of controversy as cities and communities have battled over formulas for distributing money. The Sept. 11 commission had called for giving a bigger share of the anti-terror funds to big cities. Some critics say the current system provides too much money to rural areas.
The grants are issued through the Office of Domestic Preparedness, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security, to Texas Engineering Extension Service. The Homeland Security Grant Program grants are aimed at helping states prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks, including cyber, chemical and, biological attacks. The urban grants are based on population, vulnerability and threat risk.