Press Releases

Congresswoman Horn secures federal funding for mental health crisis training, infrastructure

Washington, DC, June 27, 2019

Congresswoman Kendra Horn ensured law enforcement agencies could get the help they need when responding to mental health crisis.

She passed an amendment that secures funding for critical training programs, which passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. That amendment was included in the second round of funding bills, which the House passed this week. 

Peace officers transport one in every three people taken to the emergency room for a mental health crisis. However, many agencies can’t afford the training they need to keep everyone safe. The amendment makes available grants, so agencies that want to train their officers have the resources to do so.

“The training gap puts both the officers and those experiencing crisis in danger,” Congresswoman Horn said. “This commonsense, bipartisan legislation makes our communities safer, and it helps us protect our most vulnerable. We need to equip these peace officers. These grants will help.”

Congresswoman Horn’s amendment uses a program that is already helping those agencies get training and other resources. Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistant Grants, also known as Byrne JAG Grants, have helped communities pay for bulletproof vests, the Smart Policing Initiative, juvenile indigent defense, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System and numerous other programs. 

Horn’s amendment opens that Byrne JAG funding to mental health crisis response training. The amendment makes sure the money is available, and another bill would make sure the program is authorized. Horn and Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH) worked together earlier this year on that bill, H.R. 2698.

Congresswoman Horn also secured highway improvement and federal aviation funding.

“I’m incredibly proud of the funding we were able to provide critical programs in Oklahoma,” she said. “This funding will keep our peace officers safe, keep the people who interact with them safe, keep our drivers safe and keep our air travelers safe.”

This round of funding bills provides more than $17 billion for new infrastructure and housing projects. Of that, $1.6 billion is going to the Federal Aviation Administration, about $267 million more than the request.

Although this agency plays a critical role in every state, it is especially important to Oklahoma. The FAA’s Mike Monroney Center is in the heart of Oklahoma City. It employs more than 7,000 people and provides the nation’s only air traffic controller school. 

The funding package also allots billions more to our roads and highways. Oklahoma specifically will see a $24 million funding increase for the year.