A District 26 lawmaker has introduced a bill aimed at helping a local ambulance district make ends meet.

House Bill 491, brought by Rep. Sally Toone, D-Gooding, would allow revenue-sharing between ambulance districts and fire districts. The bill is intended to help rural ambulance districts, particularly those that don’t have a hospital within their boundaries.

“This is a way to let our small rural communities have access to ambulance services and make them more efficient with their dollars,” Toone told the House Local Government Committee when she introduced the bill Monday.

District 26 includes the Lincoln County Ambulance District, one of nine in the state without a hospital.

“Each of those districts, because of transportation costs, are struggling,” Toone said.

When an ambulance district is unable to cover its costs, the rest of the money comes from the county budget, according to Toone.

“They basically rob Peter to pay Paul,” she said.

House Bill 491 is co-sponsored by Rep. Jerald Raymond, R-Menan, and Rep. Rod Furniss, R-Rigby.

It is awaiting a full hearing before the Local Government Committee.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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