Livestock operator fire, flood assistance signed into law

A new state law sponsored by State Rep. David Cook, R-District 8, establishes a livestock operator fire and flood assistance program to provide grants to landowners, lessees and small livestock operators for infrastructure projects that are required because of wildfire or wildfire-related flooding.

The program helps those who are either not eligible for federal or state funding or partially funded through a federal or state program, according to a release.

HB 2182 was passed with strong bipartisan support in the current session and was signed into law this week by Governor Ducey. Because it was passed with an emergency clause, the law takes effect immediately, the release states.

The grant program will be implemented and managed by the Arizona Department of Agriculture, which is also charged with administering new associated livestock operator fire and flood assistance fund. The fund will consist of federal monies, state General Fund appropriations, public and private grants, and private donations.

“While wildfires and flooding will continue to damage and destroy infrastructure through large swaths of rural Arizona, this new assistance program and fund will help keep livestock operations from going out of business,” Rep. Cook said in the release. “The vital importance of this win for rural Arizona cannot be overstated.”

Program funds cannot finance more than 50% of any one project’s total costs or exceed a total of $250,000 per livestock operation for infrastructure projects that are required because of a single wildfire and that fire’s associated flooding. Grantees will be required to submit an annual report explaining how grant monies were used and the Department must submit an annual report detailing how funds are used.

Cook is a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives serving Legislative District 8, which includes areas of Pinal and Gila Counties. Follow him on Twitter @RepDavidCook.

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