Skip to comments.Did Perry Slash the Volunteer Fire Fighter Budget?
Posted on 09/07/2011 12:45:44 PM PDT by smoothsailing
By Katrina Trinko
September 07, 2011
Talking to MNSBC host Larry O’Donnell last night, former Perry opponent Jim Hightower accused Rick Perry of making draconian cuts to the volunteer fire fighter budget — no small accusation, considering the wildfires in Texas.
“Perry with his Republican supermajority in the legislature managed to slash the budget of the volunteer fire departments in our state by 75 percent in the last legislative session. We don’t have firefighters enough to come to fight these fires. People’s homes are burning down because of his failure,” Hightower said.
A news story from Texas ABC Texas KVUE backs up Hightower’s charge, reporting in March that “state funding for volunteer fire departments is taking a big hit. It is going from $30 million to $7 million.”
The Perry campaign did not challenge the numbers, but spokesman Mark Miner e-mailed this response:
The Volunteer Firefighter Assistance Account appropriation for the 2012-13 biennium is comparable to amounts included in previous budgets signed by Gov. Perry. A one-time increase in funding for the 2010-11 biennium included funding for recommended capital costs like new equipment. Included below are the appropriations amounts for the Texas Forest Service for each budget signed by Gov. Perry. The Volunteer Firefighter Service Account is included in the total Texas Forest Service appropriation.
The Texas legislature traditionally makes supplemental appropriations to provide additional funding to cover unexpected costs related to disasters, including wildfires. This year, the legislature approved $121 million in supplemental spending of this sort. The threat of unpredictable natural disasters including as wildfires is precisely why Gov. Perry insisted that Texas’ 2012-13 budget not include any spending from the state’s Rainy Day Fund, which currently has an estimated balance of $6.5 billion.
Texas Forest Service appropriations
Biennium Total (in millions)
2002 – 2003 $43.5
2004 – 2005 $70.6
2006 – 2007 $72.4
2008 – 2009 $75.2
2010 – 2011 $109.2
2012 – 2013 $75.4
And why exactly does anyone even care what Highower says?
He is the very definition of liberal failure.
Moot. The Federal Government has taken over and is sending the volunteers home.
MSNBC cares. Them and some strange people on FR. :)
Imagine that!!! A dim (Hightower) that lies.
The Federal Government has taken over and is sending the volunteers home.
All of the fires or just the Bastorp County fire which is largest one?
Not moot, a lie is still a lie.
Why in the world would the volunteers be sent home. What's that all about?
Texas libs, like Doggett, Hightower, etc., make me want to barf.
Like hell it is.
Who's bright idea was it to cut the firefighting budget in the middle of an epic statewide drought anyway?
Another “low” for Hightower.
I am not 'itching' about firefighters the state is in peril.. AND I am NOT pointing fingers of blame, it cannot be a surprise or a shock to now have fires given the drought and searing heat over these past several months. I take NO pleasure over the suffering of not only the people, but the animals as well.
I had to say all that so some hypersensitive person might take what I want to say as being something it has NO intent.
WE the rest of US are "the Federal Government", which means the rest of US are helping Texas to get the fires put out.
Who knew Hightower was still alive?
Hello, we’re the government and we’re here to help. Who asked for the feds help is what I want to know? This isn’t National Forest lands. We had help from other Texas firefighters but they’re being sent home by the feds.
The budget wasn’t “cut”. 2011 budget was at or slightly higher than the normal historical levels. 2010 was higher than normal due to one-time expenditures for new equipment and other capital items and was never intended to be a new baseline.
And if its true, its even better. It shows the man has courage to slash spending on popular programs. Slashing any spending is not a negative in my book.
It appears that a lot of people in Texas do not like Rick Perry.
It is beyond me how he got elected for 3 terms, if he is so bad.
I do not know yet what to think about Perry except that he appears to be what is needed to whip Obama , and he is head and shoulders above Romney.
Now if Sarah comes in I won’t have a problem picking a candidate, but a lot of people do not like her either.
It’s kinda tough, but I realise that a lot of people didn’t like Jesus Christ either. I guess even someone who is perfect has enemies. If Sarah doesn’t run I will probably, more than likely, almost certainly vote ,for Perry.
Unless I find out he hasn’t got a Birth Certificate.His mother was married to a drunken Kenyan bigamist and he hates whites.
I would look carefully to see if these fires were set.
You're getting all worked up about nothing. There is no cut to current operations or current budgets. Funding is made available as needed. The budget that is being falsely claimed to have been cut is the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget, which has no relation to fires raging today.
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