MONTGOMERY, AL — At a meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on Homeland Security Oversight, the members in attendance discussed two critical topics. The first was the possible loss of federal funds for a Center for Disease Control (CDC) program. The second topic was the launch of an immigration information website (information.alabama.gov) and a new call center (1.855.VERIFY.6) that puts the Alabama Department of Homeland Security (ALDHS) in compliance with the new immigration law. Chairman DeMarco, Senator Rusty Glover, Representative Alan Boothe, Director Spencer Collier, and Deputy Director Shirrell Roberts were all in attendance.
Starting 10 years ago when the first wave of anthrax attacks were unleashed, the United States has been developing and implementing bioterror mitigation. The progress towards preparedness has manifested itself in many ways, including a program that assists cities in determining distribution points for antibiotics in an emergency situation. However, after a couple of years of recessive economic activity as well as continuing federal budget cuts, a number of cities may lose this program. Chairman DeMarco expressed concern for this potential loss in Birmingham, which is the only city in Alabama that has taken part in the program. “Based on the future funding constraints, we are going to have to continue to ensure that we are working as efficiently as possible to assist first responders with better coordination and collaboration,” Chairman DeMarco said of the potential loss in a release this afternoon.
As far as the immigration law is concerned, there are two new information resources for those with questions on what the new law means. There is a new website that will serve as an information hub on Alabama’s immigration laws, as well as a hotline. The Director of the ALDHS, Spencer Collier, said these two new resources for those seeking information on the new law will make the state’s Department of Homeland Security in compliance with the law.