HR 1118 IH
H. R. 1118
To establish the SAFER Firefighter Grant Program.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 6, 2003
March 6, 2003
Mr. BOEHLERT (for himself, Mr. PASCRELL, Mr. QUINN, and Mr. GREEN of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science
To establish the SAFER Firefighter Grant Program.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters Act of 2003’.
SEC. 2. OFFICE OF GRANT MANAGEMENT.
The Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974 (15 U.S.C. 2201 et seq.) is amended by redesignating the second section 33 and section 34 as sections 35 and 36, respectively, and by inserting after the first section 33 the following new section:
‘SEC. 34. GRANT AUTHORITY.
‘(a) AUTHORITY TO MAKE GRANTS- (1) The Administrator shall make grants directly to career, volunteer, and combination fire departments, in consultation with the chief executive of the State in which the applicant is located, for the purpose of increasing the number of firefighters to help communities meet industry minimum standards to provide adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards, including acts of terrorism.
‘(2)(A) Grants made under paragraph (1) shall be for 4 years and be used for programs to hire new, additional firefighters.
‘(B) Grantees are required to commit to retaining for at least 1 year beyond the termination of their grants those firefighters hired under paragraph (1).
‘(3) In awarding grants under this section, the Administrator may give preferential consideration to applications that involve a non-Federal contribution exceeding the minimums under paragraph (5).
‘(4) The Administrator may provide technical assistance to States, units of local government, Indian tribal governments, and to other public entities, in furtherance of the purposes of this section.
‘(5) The portion of the costs of hiring firefighters provided by a grant under paragraph (1) may not exceed--
‘(A) 90 percent in the first year of the grant;
‘(B) 80 percent in the second year of the grant;
‘(C) 50 percent in the third year of the grant; and
‘(D) 30 percent in the fourth year of the grant.
‘(6) The authority under paragraph (1) of this section to make grants for the hiring of additional firefighters shall lapse at the conclusion of 10 years from the date of enactment of this section. Prior to the expiration of this grant authority, the Administrator shall submit a report to Congress concerning the experience with and effects of such grants. The report may include any recommendations the Administrator may have for amendments to this section and related provisions of law.
‘(b) APPLICATIONS- (1) No grant may be made under this section unless an application has been submitted to, and approved by, the Administrator.
‘(2) An application for a grant under this section shall be submitted in such form, and contain such information, as the Administrator may prescribe.
‘(3) At a minimum, each application for a grant under this section shall--
‘(A) explain the applicant’s inability to address the need without Federal assistance;
‘(B) explain how the applicant plans to meet the requirements of subsection (a)(2)(B) and (5);
‘(C) specify long-term plans for retaining firefighters following the conclusion of Federal support provided under this section; and
‘(D) provide assurances that the applicant will, to the extent practicable, seek, recruit, and hire members of racial and ethnic minority groups and women in order to increase their ranks within firefighting.
‘(c) LIMITATION ON USE OF FUNDS- (1) Funds made available under this section to fire departments of a State for salaries and benefits to hire new, additional firefighters shall not be used to supplant State or local funds, or, in the case of Indian tribal governments, funds supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, but shall be used to increase the amount of funds that would, in the absence of Federal funds received under this section, be made available from State or local sources, or in the case of Indian tribal governments, from funds supplied by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
‘(2) Funds appropriated by the Congress for the activities of any agency of an Indian tribal government or the Bureau of Indian Affairs performing firefighting functions on any Indian lands may be used to provide the non-Federal share of the cost of programs or projects funded under this section.
‘(3)(A) Total funding provided under this section over 4 years for hiring a firefighter may not exceed $100,000.
‘(B) The $100,000 cap shall be adjusted annually for inflation beginning in fiscal year 2005.
‘(d) PERFORMANCE EVALUATION- The Administrator may require a grant recipient to submit any information the Administrator considers reasonably necessary to evaluate the program.
‘(e) REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF FUNDING- If the Administrator determines that a grant recipient under this section is not in substantial compliance with the terms and requirements of an approved grant application submitted under this section, the Administrator may revoke or suspend funding of that grant, in whole or in part.
‘(f) ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS- (1) The Administrator shall have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any pertinent books, documents, papers, or records of a grant recipient under this section and to the pertinent books, documents, papers, or records of State and local governments, persons, businesses, and other entities that are involved in programs, projects, or activities for which assistance is provided under this section.
‘(2) Paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to audits and examinations conducted by the Comptroller General of the United States or by an authorized representative of the Comptroller General.
‘(g) DEFINITIONS- In this section, the term--
‘(1) ‘firefighter’ has the meaning given the term ‘employee in fire protection activities’ under section 3(y) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. 203(y)); and
‘(2) ‘Indian tribe’ means a tribe, band, pueblo, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians, including an Alaska Native village (as defined in or established under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)), that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.
‘(h) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS-
‘There are authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of carrying out this section--
‘(1) $1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2004;
‘(2) $1,030,000,000 for fiscal year 2005;
‘(3) $1,061,000,000 for fiscal year 2006;
‘(4) $1,093,000,000 for fiscal year 2007;
‘(5) $1,126,000,000 for fiscal year 2008;
‘(6) $1,159,000,000 for fiscal year 2009; and
‘(7) $1,194,000,000 for fiscal year 2010.’.