On February 17, the Senate Committee on Rules voted unanimously (15-0) to report HB 2175 (Sickles), which directs the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security to establish a work group composed of representatives from the Department of Fire Programs, the Department of Planning and Budget, the Office of Emergency Medical Services, the Virginia Fire Services Council, Virginia’s Regional EMS Councils, the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association, the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations, the House Committee on Appropriations, and such other stakeholders as the Secretary deems appropriate to study existing fire service needs, analyze sustainability of current funding, and review alternative funding models from other states.
In conducting its study, the work group may hire an outside consultant and shall create a needs assessment survey that analyzes existing fire service needs, the sustainability of current funding, any gaps in current funding, how other states fund fire and EMS services, and best practices from other states. The Secretary shall report the work group’s findings and any recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on General Laws and the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology on or before October 1, 2023. The House Budget contains an amendment, which VACo supports, that provides $125,000 in General Fund in FY 2024 for the consultant costs of this study.
VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett