Nonetheless, people in law enforcement are paying particular attention this year, as several federal programs that fund local police, firefighters and rescue personnel could be on the chopping block.
For instance, Fire Station No. 5, on Lower Miller Creek Road (in Tom Bauer photo above) was largely funded with federal grants.
The list goes on and on,” said Missoula Mayor John Engen, who said he heard about the proposals on the radio Thursday morning, suggesting that congressional rhetoric might be at odds with “what these programs do for constituents on the ground.”
Engen said he was especially surprised to hear that the sweeping proposal would include public safety agencies.
“Those grants are about taxpayer dollars going to work in communities to temper crime and, on the fire side, to save lives,” the mayor said. “That’s important stuff.”
The cuts are part of stated attempts by Republicans in the House of Representatives to deal with a soaring deficit. Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg says that “anyone who relies on federal funding has a patriotic duty to look for ways to get by on less, for the sake of our country’s future.”
President Obama will announce his budget plans tonight, likely setting the stage for a battle royal.
For a primer, check out today’s Missoulian.