WASHINGTON, D.C. — Minnesota’s House delegation unanimously voted on Tuesday to extend a $2.2 billion a year fire department grant program.
The final vote on the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act was 395 to 31.
Minnesota received $13 million through the program in 2008.
“Many of these grants went to volunteer fire departments,” said Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., in a statement. “The pleasure, the pride and joy these volunteer firefighters have in getting this small bit of assistance is overwhelming to me. These first responders are our first line of defense against any emergency, and they deserve to have the tools and training they need to do their jobs.”
The legislation also moves to simplify the grant application process, according to Oberstar.
“Small fire departments where having to hire grant application writers to fill out complex forms; that’s absurd,” Oberstar said. “We’ve changed that in this legislation and taken away the need to show a connection to terrorism, our terror in Northeast Minnesota is fire.”
The bill will now be sent to the Senate.