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Commonwealth's Counties

Governor’s Introduced Budget Addresses OEMS Funding Issue

As part of Governor Youngkin’s introduced budget, additional state General Funds will be used to address funding shortfalls through the Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS). According to the Chair of the State EMS Advisory Board, the Governor has directed the $8 million surplus that the Virginia Department of Health returned to the General Fund at the end of FY23 to be redistributed to OEMS. This will allow OEMS to cover their remaining Return to Locality (RTL) obligations. Additionally, OEMS will be able to pay the Regional EMS Councils the remaining funds that they are owed.

Additionally, Governor Youngkin has included in his budget bill language that exempts OEMS from making the required transfer of $12.5 million pass through monies to the General Fund in FY24 and in FY25. These budget provisions will need to be approved by the General Assembly to take effect. Furthermore, the firm of Fitch and Associates will be onsite at OEMS after the first of the year for six months to assist with OEMS operations.

As previously reported, OEMS programs were facing a multimillion-dollar deficit and that several years’ worth of past OEMS budgets were created not in-line with available funding. This had the potential to significantly impact OEMS aid to localities and first responders. A workgroup was tasked by the EMS Advisory Board with prioritizing resumption of payments for the EMS Regional Councils and Return to Locality obligations. The minutes of the workgroup’s last meeting can be accessed here.

This is a solid step forward in ensuring that local governments and EMS first responders receive the funding obligated to them from OEMS. VACo will continue to engage and report on this issue as it develops further.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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