Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 8/20/20
As fire danger climbs in the state, Gov. Steve Bullock announced at an Aug. 17 press conference that $46.7 million was transferred from the general fund to the fire suppression fund, putting the fire fund at its statutory maximum of $101.5 million, or 4 percent of fiscal year 2021 appropriations, for the first time in history. The fire fund now contains enough money to cover nearly five average years of state fire suppression costs. In 2013, Gov. Bullock passed a bill that changed the way wildfires are paid for by the state, dedicating a budget to the fire suppression fund in advance of wildfire season, instead of following. This legislation included that reversions by state agencies in excess of 0.5 percent of total general fund be transferred to the fire fund.