House Bill Increases Funding for AFG and SAFER by $30 Million Each in FY 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives has begun work on FY 2021 appropriations legislation. On July 15 the House Committee on Appropriations passed the FY 2021 Department of Homeland (DHS) Security Appropriations Act, which includes $385 million each for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) and Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant programs and waives local cost share and maintenance of expenditure requirements for the grants. If enacted, this would represent the highest level of funding for AFG and SAFER since FY 2011.

The DHS appropriations bill also provides $49.038 million for the U.S. Fire Administration, an increase of approximately $2.2 million over the level provided in FY 2020, but approximately $700,000 less than was requested in the President’s FY 2021 budget.

The House Committee on Appropriations has also passed the FY 2021 Interior Appropriations Act, which provides $19 million for the Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grant program, an increase of $1 million over FY 2020, and the FY 2021 Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Act, which provides $2.5 million for the National Firefighter Registry, fully funding the program. The funding provided for VFA and the Registry are consistent with the levels requested by the National Volunteer Fire Council for FY 2021.