Gov. Beebe to direct Arkansas Agriculture Dept. to reallocate US$550,000/year from its budget to Forestry Commission to allow restoration of 15 firefighter positions beginning Feb. 21

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas , February 8, 2012 (press release) – After conferring with House and Senate leadership and Department of Finance and Administration officials, Governor Mike Beebe will direct the Arkansas Agriculture Department to reallocate $550,000 annually in ongoing funds from its budget to the Arkansas Forestry Commission. The move allows the restoration of 15 firefighter positions throughout the state beginning February 21. Based on need recommendations previously established by the Forestry Commission and the Legislature, firefighting positions will be restored in Bradley, Columbia, Conway, Drew, Fulton, Grant, Hempstead, Ouachita, Saline, Sevier and Union Counties.

Speaker Robert Moore and Representative Bobby Pierce first brought the idea to Governor Beebe after examining the Agriculture Department’s turn-back funds in recent years. The $550,000 reallocation will restore the firefighter positions while ensuring that the Agriculture Department will maintain sufficient funds for other obligations.

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