Bipartisan bill throws money at fire problem – Orange County Register

The upcoming bill from a bipartisan group of California lawmakers addresses a key issue — the state’s ongoing battles with wildfires — the old-fashioned way. It spends more money hiring more government employees, but doesn’t address why the current budget isn’t working.

The bill has yet to be introduced so we will need to look at it in detail, but the basic parameters have been widely reported. Have a cold. Shannon Grove, R-Bakersfield, Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, have proposed adding 1,124 permanent and seasonal firefighters to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). ).

The measure would also require the assignment of three firefighters for every engine (up from the current average of 2.7) and would require the completion of a personnel study. McGuire has said the payment is just a “upfront payment” for the need to hire more firefighters.

It’s hard to oppose legislation that enhances the state’s firefighting capabilities, especially after years of fierce fire seasons. McGuire also introduced — and Governor Gavin Newsom signed — a bill (Senate Bill 206) that would make the Firefighters’ Rights Act available to seasonal workers, giving them additional public protections. group.

While everyone appreciates the hard work of firefighters, Cal Fire faces the same problems that plague every bureaucracy – high costs and rules. Union work reduces the ability to provide cost-effective public services. Bipartisan bill throws money at fire problem – Orange County Register

Huynh Nguyen

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