SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB
DATE: June 11, 2002
CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108
JACOB PRAISES STATE LEADERS FOR PRESERVING CDF BUDGET IN CRITICAL FIRE YEAR
SAN DIEGO - After months of debate, State legislators are to be commended for eliminating the governor's proposed $20 million cut to the California Department of Forestry, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said today.
In a late-night vote, the Budget Conference Committee unanimously struck down a plan that would have required local governments and fire agencies to reimburse the State for fire-protection. Jacob and others have argued against shifting CDF costs to local taxpayers who, Jacob said, already pay for wildland fire protection through their state taxes.
"This is great news for the people of San Diego County particularly those in the rural parts of the Back Country where wildland fire danger is severe," said Jacob who twice traveled to Sacramento to testify against the proposal last Spring.
"San Diego and other counties have begged the state not to balance its annual budget on the backs of local governments by compromising fire protection for California residents," said Jacob. "I'm glad our State officials listened to our pleas," she added.
Jacob said much of credit should go to Senator Steve Peace who chairs the Budget Conference Committee and has supported enhanced fire protection for the San Diego region.
The County of San Diego continues to urge the state to declare a year-round fire season in San Diego County. Last month, legislators agreed to station two air tankers in the community of Ramona throughout the year. Jacob and others have argued that additional resources are needed to address the unique bush conditions that exist in San Diego County.
Jacob chairs the San Diego County Task Force on Fire Protection and Emergency Services.