Ah! The first post of a new year! Republicans have entered into the majority in the House and a critical vote on Health Care Reform looms. I predict the repeal resolution will be defeated.
More important news continues to drip out of various federal sources during this opening week of the new year. The most important for Homeland Security, EM, and crisis management in the US is a new report by the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce. Now official, including pension funding, state and local governments are in the worst fiscal shape ever financially. During the Depression two states went bankrupt and over 500 cities. Well a tough record to match but that could well occur between now and January 2013!
Suggestions: (1) Federalize pensions of some or all state First Responders that support the National Response Framework. In return federally mandated training and equipment standards and operation of national First Responder data base including job opportunities. Fungibility in that is the correct word would be the objective! Also Identify all federal employees that are First Responders for the National Response Framework! This would include the 55,000 DOD civilian firefighters. All would be considered eligible for deployment for national needs not just their specific agency needs.
(2) FEDERALIZE MEDICADE!
(3) FEDERALIZE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION!
(4) FEDERALIZE PUBLIC HEALTH!
(5) TRAIN ALL MEMBERS OF US ARMED FORCES IN THE RESPONSE PHASE OF THE NATIOHNAL RESPONSE FRAMEWORK!
(6) REQUIRE ALL MEMBERS OF THE FIRE SERVICE TO BE TRAINED IN CBRNE RESPONSE BASICS AND EQUIPPED APPROPRIATELY!
(7) COMBINE EPA AND HHS!
(8)STANDARDIZE STATES CRISIS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS!
(9)Delegation to Secretary of DHS of authority to ndeclare non-catastrophic disasters with authority retained by the President for catastrophic disaster declarations. What is the distinction? A catastrophic disaster is one in which govermental capability for response by a State Government or the Mayors ir Chief Executive of metropolitan area of more than 500K in population is adversly impacted!
(10) 100% federal funding of first 30 days after disaster declared and then cost sharing based on demonstarted plans and needs.
Okay Happy New Years!