2005 Session

Budget Amendments - SB700 (Committee Approved)

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SAFER Match Fund

Item 436 #3s

Item 436 #3s

First Year - FY2005 Second Year - FY2006
Public Safety
Fire Programs, Department of FY2005 ($1,000,000) FY2006 $0 GF

Page 404, line 16, strike "$20,373,574" and insert "$19,373,574".
Page 404, strike lines 26 through 40 and insert:
"A.  There is hereby created on the books of the Comptroller a special fund which shall be known as the Staffing for Adequate Firefighters and Emergency Response (SAFER) Matching Grant Fund.  Included within this appropriation is $250,000 the first year from the general fund which shall be deposited into this fund.
1.  The Department of Fire Programs shall develop a plan to allocate these funds to localities in the form of a reimbursement for the first year local matching requirement for federal grants which may be made available to fire departments in Virginia under the SAFER program.
2.  The state reimbursement to localities shall be limited to the first year matching requirement of 10 percent, after which the participating localities shall assume the matching costs as specified by the federal grant requirements.
3.  The Department shall provide a report on expected expenditures from this fund to the Chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees prior to the 2006 Session of the General Assembly."

(This amendment creates a special fund to reimburse localities for the local share of a new federal grant program to encourage localities to hire more firefighters. The amendment limits the Commonwealth's contribution to the first year local matching share, after which the participating locality would assume the increasing cost of the new firefighters. This amendment also caps the state contribution to the program in the second year at $250,000. This cap is based on three factors: (i) the actual Congressional appropriation of $65 million for the first year of the program; (ii) the best estimate of the share of this federal appropriation that will likely be awarded to localities in Virginia, which will probably not exceed 3.5 percent or about $2.3 million; and (iii) the 10 percent local matching requirement the first year, estimated to be $250,000. Accordingly, the amount of general funds for this purpose in the introduced budget is reduced from $1.25 million to $250,000 the first year. Over the succeeding four years the local contribution will increase from 10 to 20 to 50 to 70 to 100 percent of the cost of the new firefighters.)