President's FY 2021 Budget Mixed Bag for Fire Service

On February 10, President Trump released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 budget. Overall, the numbers are mixed. The Administration proposes increasing the U.S. Fire Administration’s budget to $49.716 million. The Urban Areas Security Initiative and State Homeland Security Grant Program would take cuts of approximately 36 percent and 41 percent, respectively. The Assistance to Firefighters (AFG/FIRE) and SAFER grant program would take small cuts down to $344.344 million. The Volunteer Fire Assistance program also would receive a small cut under the President’s budget.

Here’s how the numbers look:

 President Trump's Fiscal Year 2021 Budget (in millions)
 Program FY 2018
FY 2019
FY 2020
FY 2021
  AFG (FIRE)
 350  350  355 344.344
 SAFER  350  350 355
344.344
 USFA  44.397 45.679
46.844
49.716
 UASI  630 640
665
426.461
 SHSGP  507 525
560
331.939
 USDA Fire
 2,880 3,004
2,350
2,409
 DOI Fire
948.1
941.2
952.3
1,003
 USDA State & Private Forestry
 335.5  337 347
217.4
 Volunteer Fire Assistance
 16 17
18
17
 State Fire Assistance
 80 81
82
81.1

The Administration also proposes a $406.909 million National Security and Resilience Grant Program to provide financial assistance on a competitive basis to non-federal entities to address specific, existing and emerging threats as identified by the Secretary. It also proposes $20 million for necessary expenses for targeted violence terrorism prevention programs. It proposes a 25% non-federal match for the State Homeland Security Grant Program & Urban Areas Security Initiative.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration also took some cuts. The Administration proposed cutting the “Hazardous Materials Safety” account by $300,000 to $60,700,000. The “Pipeline Safety” account would be cut by $5 million to $163 million. The “Emergency Preparedness Grants” account remained funded at $28,318,000, and included the language authorizing the ALERT grants.

The IAFC will be active on Capitol Hill urging Congress to fund USFA at $50 million and to prevent cuts to other fire and emergency service programs. Fire chiefs are urged to contact their member of Congress in support of these programs and to visit Washington DC for the National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 30.

Keep up on the latest developments from Washington, DC at IAFC.org/gr

Ken LaSala is the IAFC's director of government relations and policy.

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