North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey issued the following statement responding to the passing of the state budget by the General Assembly:
“While I deeply appreciate the 7% pay increase over two years for state employees, I am disappointed at some of the items added to the budget that negatively impact the fire service and our volunteer firefighters in North Carolina.
“I especially detest the way these items were added without input from the department, the State Firefighters Association, county fire marshals or fire chiefs. I have yet to meet the first person outside of the General Assembly that favors an independent State Fire Marshal.
“The lack of communication with the Department of Insurance and no input or discussion allowed on changes to the Office of the State Fire Marshal is very disturbing.
“These needless changes have upset and angered the hardworking firefighters who have volunteered and dedicated their time to improving the ISO ratings at more than 80 percent of our fire departments.”