Two rural state senators called on Senate leaders to swiftly act to pass the funding plan for rural firefighters that unanimously passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Senate Bill 1190 passed the House on a 96 to 0 vote.
“With swift action by the Senate, we can put this plan on the governor’s desk by early next week and provide some much-needed help to our rural firefighters,” stated Sen. Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward, the chairman of the State Senate’s Rural Republican Caucus.
Sen. Don Barrington, Lawton’s former fire chief, praised Oklahoma’s volunteer firefighters.
“Oklahoma’s rural volunteer firefighters are true heroes, and they need our help,” stated Barrington, R-Lawton. “My hope is that the Senate will act in a bipartisan fashion to quickly send Senate Bill 1190 to Gov. Henry’s desk.”
SB 1190 nearly doubles the size of operational grants to rural fire departments to $5,000 per year, and includes funding to replace and repair broken-down equipment. Another provision provides money to the Department of Agriculture to increase the cap on reimbursements to rural fire departments from the department’s extraordinary fire cost recovery fund.