The officials have sent a letter on Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell after learning about a 67 percent cut to the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grants.
The cuts would reduce the amount of Byrne funding available to law enforcement agencies across the country from $520 million to $170 million for the upcoming fiscal year.
“This money is used to fund drug courts, gang prevention and prisoner re-entry programs, among other things,” Edmondson said Tuesday. “Cuts of this magnitude would significantly impact multi-jurisdictional drug and gang task forces.
“There would likely be layoffs within the law enforcement community and cuts to programs put in place to help drug addicted citizens recover and re-enter society. The effects of these cuts would likely be immediate and dramatic.”
Under the current budget proposal, Oklahoma would lose about $2.8 million in federal funding, Edmondson said. The new budget would take effect July 1.
Suzanne Atwood, executive director of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council, said the cuts would be devastating to drug enforcement efforts in Oklahoma.
“Coupled with other federal cuts, we are facing a loss of up to 49 positions across the state,” Atwood said.