Ashland State Senator introduces bill for permanent wildfire funding

SALEM, Ore.– Ashland State Senator Jeff Golden is introducing a new bill that would create a permanent source of funding for wildfires.

But it might be unpopular with some.

The bill aims to take around 30% of the $5.5 billion tax kicker and put it into a permanent trust fund.

Golden said the interest from that trust fund would generate around $100 to 120 million per year, that would fund wildfire mitigation and recovery services.

He said the trust fund would create a more sustainable solution for wildfire funding than taking money from the state’s general fund.

“There could be many more Almeda Fires in this state, in our valley and elsewhere,” Golden said, “I just don’t want to have that happen and look back and say in 2023, we had this unique opportunity to put together the resources to prevent this and we didn’t take it.”

Golden said they need to get all of the senators back in the building soon or else the bill will die.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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