HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Law enforcement agencies in northern border states for now will receive border protection aid after Congress nixed an attempt to limit the money to the Southwest.
The Department of Homeland Security's budget requests for 2011 and 2012 specified that Operation Stonegarden grants were to be used only "to address the nation's Southwest border security issues."
That restriction was removed in the 2011 budget bill Congress passed earlier this month. The department says northern border states are still eligible for the grants.
But it's not clear whether those states will receive funding beyond this budget year.
Local agencies use the Operation Stonegarden money to pay for overtime and equipment. Last year, border states in the Southwest received $47.6 million, compared to $11.1 million given to northern border states.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)