PHOENIX, AZ (STL.News) Arizona will have more boots on the ground to prevent wildfires under a bill signed today by Governor Doug Ducey.
The legislation creates a new partnership, employing Arizona inmates to clear forests of debris. The program is a win-win: forests will be healthier and inmates will have new skills setting them up for employment once they are released.
After the signing, the Governor reiterated the importance of the $24.5 million appropriation and looks forward to working with the Legislature to include this piece as part of a comprehensive budget package.
“As I shared in my State of the State address, guarding against wildfires is an important issue that requires a new strategy for the state. That new strategy of taking additional steps to reduce wildfire risk to Arizona communities is reflected in the Arizona Healthy Forest Initiative,” Governor Ducey said in a signing letter.
“I want to extend my gratitude to the sponsors of this legislation, Senator Kerr and Representative Griffin, and to all of the legislators supporting this critical mission. I am very pleased to sign Senate Bill 1442 today, and look forward to working with the legislature to complete the other necessary pieces of this ongoing effort to protect our forests and communities,” he added in the letter.