On March 4, the Obama administration released the president’s fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget request. The proposed budget meets the $1.014 trillion spending limit for FY 2015 that was agreed to in December’s budget agreement (P.L. 113-67). (This amount is a slight increase over the $1.012 trillion that was appropriated for FY 2014).
However, the president’s budget also includes a $56 billion supplemental budget request titled the Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative. This initiative would split spending increases equally between defense and nondefense spending and offset the spending through closing tax loopholes and making alternative spending cuts.
Fire Service Programs:
- FIRE Grants: $335 million – a decrease of $5 million.
- SAFER Grants: $335 million – a decrease of $5 million.
- U.S. Fire Administration: $41.407 million – a decrease of $2.593 million.
- Urban Search and Rescue: $27.513 million – a decrease of $7.667 million.
- Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs: $125.77 million – a decrease of $990,000.
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:
- PHMSA Hazardous Materials Safety: $52 million – an increase of $7 million. For this appropriation, $40 million would come from the General Fund, and $12 million would come from special permits and approval fees. The Administration is proposing the creation of a new Hazardous Materials Approvals and Permits fund.
- PHMSA’s Operational Expenses: $22.225 million – an increase of $571,000. $1.5 million would be transferred to the “Pipeline Safety” account to pay for Pipeline Safety Information Grants to Communities.
- PHMSA”s Emergency Preparedness Grants: $28.313 million – no change.
- DOI Wildland Fire Management: $793.96 million – an increase of $52.98 million.
- DOI FLAME: $92 million – no change.
- USDA U.S. Forest Service Wildland Fire Management: $2.265 billion – an increase of $105 million.
- USDA FLAME: $315 million – no change.
- State Fire Assistance: $78 million – no change.
- Volunteer Fire Assistance: $13 million – a decrease of $25,000.
- The budget request proposes extending the SAFER waivers for an extra year.
- FEMA’s salaries and expenses account covers the management and administration of grants.
- The bill would propose $1.0432 billion for the National Preparedness Grant program to consolidate the State Homeland Security Grant Program, the Urban Areas Security Initiative program and other homeland-security preparedness programs. This year, FEMA also released a legislative proposal implementing the NPG program, which we need to review in more detail.
- The Administration proposes a new $40 million multimodal fund to support the safe shipping of crude oil and other energy resources. This funding would be administered by the Secretary’s office.
- The Administration also proposes allocating some of the costs of fighting wildland fires to the Disaster Relief Fund.
The IAFC will be active this year, protecting the funding for fire service programs and working to prevent any cuts from taking place. Please stay current about the IAFC’s efforts by following the IAFC Government Relations webpage.