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Governors want more homeland security money

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The nation's governors warned on Wednesday that if the federal government does not help them defray the costs of homeland security they will not get the job done.

The National Governors Association estimated that the first year of homeland security alone will cost the states $4 billion. That breaks down to $3 billion for bioterrorism and emergency communications and $1 billion for guarding critical infrastructure.

The estimates were extrapolated from surveys conducted in 17 states. The organization predicts that, when more responses are in, its estimates will go higher.

Democratic Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont noted that these increased costs are hitting states at a time when many are having budget difficulties because of the slowing economy.

"If we don't get some resources, we simply aren't going to be able to do the job that I think the public expects," Dean said.

The governors were hoping to influence the outcome of Senate votes on Thursday on homeland security funding.

Among the findings: States are spending an additional $100 million to enhance security at airports, an additional $58 million to beef up security at nuclear power plants, and $75 million to augment border security; The cost of recruiting and training new personnel was estimated at $350 million.


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