Anti-Terrorism Dollars for Hawaii Slashed

Oahu Civil Defense workers monitor from the county's command center.
Oahu Civil Defense workers monitor from the county's command center.
Sen. Daniel Akaka
Sen. Daniel Akaka

by Kristine Uyeno

(KHNL) - Hawaii is receiving $13 million in federal money to battle terrorism and other disasters.

State leaders aren't happy, because it's millions less than our state received last year.

"No one's happy, everybody's gotten cut," said Maj. Gen. Robert Lee, the state adjutant general.

Lee says every state, including Hawaii, is receiving less to battle terrorism and other disasters.

"I'm sure disappointed, I expected a few more dollars but also understanding with $600 million less in the pot, we're going to get less money. I just thought we'd get a little more," said Gen. Lee.

Hawaii is one of the state's receiving money from the Dept. of Homeland Security. But it's on the bottom of the list and is viewed as one of the safer states.

The state says it will use the money to improve a variety of things, including shelters for people with special needs, wireless communications and law enforcement.

"Eighty percent of that money needs to go down to our counties. The City & County of Honolulu has the lion's share with $4.7 million," said Lee.

Sen. Daniel Akaka is a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. In a written statement he said, "It is important for Hawaii, with no neighboring states to be self-sufficient if disaster strikes."

He says he'll work with state officials to ensure that Hawaii isn't at a disadvantage because of its small population and isolated location.

Since 9/11, Hawaii has received more than $92 million to increase preparedness and improve the way we respond to emergencies.