Yesterday, President Obama released his Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request. The $3.8 trillion proposal includes a number of changes to programs that affect the fire and emergency services. The IAFC government relations and policy department has prepared the following summary.
Homeland Security Programs
U.S. Fire Administration: $41.306 million
This is a decrease of $650,000, when compared to the FY 2013 appropriated level (post-sequester and rescission) of $41.956 million. The IAFC is requesting $44 million for USFA.
FIRE and SAFER Grant Programs: $335 million for each program
When compared to our estimates for the FY 2013 (post-sequester and post-rescission) funding level of approximately $320.3 million, this amount is a $14.7 million increase. The President’s proposal includes extending the SAFER waivers to allow for the retention of firefighters. The budget request also states that the peer-review process will give priority to applications that enhance capabilities for terrorism response and other major incidents. The cost of administering the grants has been transferred to FEMA’s Salaries and Expenses account. The IAFC and other fire service organizations are asking for $337.5 million each in FY 2014 for FIRE and SAFER.
First Responder Stabilization Fund: $1 billion
The FY 2014 budget request also includes an additional $1 billion First Responder Stabilization Fund for the SAFER grant program to be used to retain, re-hire, and hire firefighters. Preference would be given to fire departments that are implementing programs and policies that focus on the recruitment of post-9/11 veterans for firefighter positions.
Homeland Security Grants: $1.043 billion consolidated
The President’s budget proposal resurrected its proposal to consolidate the State Homeland Security Grant Program, the Urban Areas Security Initiative, and other grant programs into a $1.043 billion National Preparedness Grant (NPG) program. The IAFC has concerns about this proposal, because it replaces the Urban Areas Security Initiative and other effective grant programs with a new proposal that still requires concrete details.
Wildland Fire Programs
Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement (FLAME) Fund: $407 million total
Fully funds the 10-year average cost of wildland fire suppression operations, and proposes $315 million for the FLAME fund under the Department of Agriculture and $92 million for FLAME fund under the Department of Interior. The IAFC will support this proposal.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildland Fire Management: $2.05 billion
This amount is a $200 million increase above the FY 2013 post-sequester level of $1.8 billion. The IAFC will support this increase.
Department of Interior, Wildland Fire Management: $710 million
This amount is a $21.5 million increase from the FY 2013 (post-sequester) amount of $688.5 million. The IAFC will support this increase.
Join Us in Washington Next Month
“With the mandatory spending cuts from the Budget Control Act still in effect, it will be tough for Congress to fund our programs adequately,” said Chief Hank Clemmensen, the IAFC President and Chairman of the Board. “So, it is important that members of the fire and emergency services meet with their members of Congress and educate them about the importance of these programs.”
Updated May 20, 2013