Back in March of this year, Austin TV station KVUE reported:
State funding for volunteer fire departments is taking a big hit. It is going from $30 million to $7 million. Those departments are already facing financial strains. The State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas represents 21,000 state firefighters. The Association says more than 80 percent of volunteer firefighters are reporting taking a personal hit in the budget crisis. They have started using their own money to help pay for equipment and supplies.
“We’ve seen budget cuts, but this is the worst time that we’ve ever seen,” said Executive Director Chris Barron. “As far as the budget crisis and the fuel cost stuff for example continues to go up and it doesn’t help us out any whatsoever, so with the rising fuel and the budget cuts from the state it’s taken a great effect. I think the citizens and the public is going to see that.”
Most of the State of Texas is protected by volunteer departments. There are 879 volunteer departments compared to 114 paid departments and 187 departments that are a combination of both paid and volunteer firefighters.
Now that Rick Perry is a leading Republican presidential candidate, the issue is being politicized:
While Texas Burn (sic), Perry Slashed Firefighter Funds by 75%
The fire raging through Texas is not a surprise, it is something everyone expected, in fact, it happens often. Yet, with that in mind, Rick Perry, the Republican candidate for President in 2012, massively cut funding to the only agency whose job is to fight these fires.
Volunteer departments that were already facing financial strain were slated to have their funding cut from $30 million to $7 million, according to KVUE.
The majority of Texas is protected by volunteer fire departments. There are 879 volunteer fire departments in Texas and only 114 paid fire departments. Another 187 departments are a combination of volunteer and paid.
The raging inferno presently covers over 25,000 acres near Bastrop and has already destroyed nearly 500 homes. At a time like this all hands should have been on deck, but thanks to Perry’s decision making, the burning continues.
This decision by Rick Perry gives a whole new meaning to the term, ‘slash and burn.’
Naturally the story’s author, Ezra Grant, provides no evidence that Perry himself personally decided the amount of funds to be set aside for volunteer firefighters, as he implies in his title. Perhaps he would be stunned to learn that while the Governor signs the state budget, the Texas Legislature actually authors it, and Gov. Perry doesn’t ride around in a big white Cadillac with a longhorn hood ornament randomly deciding who he is going to starve or kill by taking away all their money. Unlike the Federal government, the Texas Legislature can’t print its own money. Just like every other state, they were faced with a significant revenue shortfall this past session and had to make deep funding cuts throughout their budget.
And speaking of budgets, you’ll note that Gov. Perry actually signed one, something that our own President has failed to do for the last two Federal fiscal years.
As of now, it seems pretty clear that liberals will be trying to tar and feather Perry based on his record as Texas governor, while deliberately ignoring Barack Obama’s dismal failure of a record as President of the United States. Fortunately blogs and YouTube will make that task very difficult for them.