FRANKFORT, Ky. (January 9, 2018) – Rep. Michael Meredith, R-Oakland, has filed a bill relieving volunteer fire departments of burdensome and costly auditing regulations.
House Bill 122, filed last week, exempts volunteer fire departments from having to report annually to the Department for Local Government (DLG) and from incurring thousands of dollars in fees for being audited by outside accounting firms. Under the exemption, they would still have to file annual reports and would be subject to audits, however, the reports and audits would be handled by the Fire Commission which has a simpler, more streamlined process.
“Our small, rural communities are the backbone of this Commonwealth,” said Rep. Meredith, who serves on the House Standing Committee on Local Government. “Volunteer fire departments are often the only first responders in these areas. We need to ensure that they have all the resources they need to do their job and most importantly, to save lives. By reducing the amount of time and money needed to comply with government red tape, we relieve a tremendous burden on those committed to the public safety of rural Kentuckians.”
Meredith's office said this exemption will allow small, rural fire departments, which operate solely off of donations, grants, and fees, to use their scarce resources to purchase equipment and focus their time on saving lives and property in the communities they serve.