Senate Passes Bill to Fund AFG and SAFER programs

Yesterday the Senate passed a comprehensive Fiscal Year 2013 Appropriations bill (H.R. 933) to fund the Federal government through September 30th, the end of the current fiscal year. The House is expected to pass the identical bill today.

We are pleased to announce that the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program and the SAFER program will be funded a combined $675 million for FY 2013, or $337.5 million for each program in H.R. 933. This funding level is equal to last year’s appropriation level — a tremendous legislative victory given the current budgetary environment.

However, all funding levels in H.R 933 will still be subject to sequestration cuts ( a 5.1% cut for AFG and SAFER, bringing the actual appropriations level to $320 million for each program). But, a special provision in the Senate version of H.R. 933 places the administrative expenses for the fire grants programs in a different part of the bill. This means that the 5.1% sequestration cut will essentially be offset by funds saved by not having to deduct administrative expenses (approximately 5%) from the programs. The bottom line: AFG and SAFER will have approximately the same amount of funds available for grants to fire departments as in FY 2012.

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