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I wanted to let you all know that today S1096, the Idaho First Responder "Catastrophic Injury" legislation unanimously passed the house and is now on its way the governor for his signature. A big shout out to PFFI Vice President Rob Shoplock for all of his hard work seeing this legislation make its way through the senate and house.
This bill could not have occurred without the sponsorship of the Idaho Police Chiefs Association, the Idaho Sherriffs Association and the Professional Firefighters of Idaho. I also want to thank our legislative committee and our association members for sending letters and making phone calls to your representatives. This is a great show of how working together can accomplish something to improve the lives of first responders in Idaho.
The legislative committee and I wanted to reach out to all of our members regarding Senate Bill S1108 which is the bill that is dealing with property tax reform. This bill made it out of committee last Thursday and already is having the 3rd reading today in the Senate and we expect a vote from the Senate later this week. We have been opposed to this legislation as it hampers our ability as fire chiefs to provide the services our communities deserve. This bill has significant impact to those cities and fire districts who have growth or using annexation as a tool to expand service areas. This bill can be extremely difficult for our fire districts due to their ability to share property tax reduction with other stakeholders. Cities like mine hopefully can spread the reduction among the other general fund departments, but even mine will see an impact in funding reduction and the first item on the chopping block for my agency could be determining if the additional funding needed from the city will be there to remain a host of the region response hazmat team and I know my agency will not be the only one having to look at this specific area. The City of Nampa and the Nampa Fire District due to their recent annexation could see a catastrophic reduction in funding that will lead them to closing stations, laying off firefighters and greatly increase response times.
What can you do to help out is simple. Please reach out to your local representatives and describe to them what the local and possible regional impact of such a change will have on your services. We saw last week in the committee that the associations don’t have the pull, but you all as individuals do. Please call or email your local representatives today and explain how this will impact the services you deliver. Together we can make a difference, but it takes each of us to make the contact.
Travis A. Myklebust
President, Idaho Fire Chief's Association Fire Chief, Lewiston Fire Department
I am writing to all of you on behalf of the board of directors and our legislative committee. The 2021 legislative session has begun and we are already seeing both good and concerning legislation when it comes to the fire service.
Right now we are watching a couple pieces of legislation that has our attention. The first one is H0016 which is a bill that may impact how statewide emergencies are declared. The next one is S1021 which is a property tax reform bill. S1021 - Draft.pdf
This bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Local Government & Taxation Committee this Thursday.
It appears that this legislative session there will be numerous bills that pertain to property tax reform and this could have a direct impact on the funds that your fire district or municipality will receive. Any decrease in funding will have a negative impact on services your provide and will weaken your ability to protect your community.
What we need from all of our members is for you to meet with your fire commissioners or city administration ASAP to determine what impact this property tax reform may have on your agency. This information will be critical as we work with other stakeholders to educate legislators on these bills. In the future we maybe asking our members to contact your legislators and ask them for their support. We all know these bills can move quickly, so time will be of the essence, so please watch your emails.
Please know that the legislative committee and your board of directors are working hard to represent our chiefs and the agencies your represent, but we need input and help from all of you if we are going to be successful.
Idaho Fire Chiefs AssociationP.O. Box 2133 Boise, Idaho 83701-2133Tel: 208.629.4865Tel: 208.629.4865 Fax: 800.324.6298