Firefighting & Politics – 2Q 2022 Newsletter

Jul 6, 2022 | Legislation

Pennsylvania Legislators make decisions that affect nearly every areas of our life. We have provided below legislation that was introduced during the Second Quarter of 2022 that may affect you and your department. If you have questions and/or concerns about any of this legislation, you should reach our directly to your PA Senator or PA Representative.


April 18, 2022

 

State Grants for Firefighter Turnout Gear

Representatives Miller, Madden and Galloway introduced legislation that would establish a reimbursement program with the State Fire Commissioner’s office to cover the cost of turnout gear for all eligible firefighters. To be eligible, firefighters would be required to earn their Firefighter 2 certification and be in good standing with their fire company. The gear could be replaced every five years, or if it was damaged beyond repair through incident response or related training. This was introduced as House Bill 2523. For more information, click here.


April 25, 2022

 

Tax Exemption for Firefighting Equipment

Representative Markosek introduced legislation that would recognize the irreplaceable service that our firefighters provide. Firefighting equipment can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, and firefighters often pay for this life-saving equipment out of their own pockets. This proposed legislation would amend the Tax Reform Code to provide a sales tax exemption to firefighters who are purchasing firefighting equipment with their own money. This was introduced as House Bill 2597. For more information, click here.


April 27, 2022

 

Addressing the EMS Staffing Crisis (COVID Waiver)

Representative Causer plans to introduce legislation that makes the COVID Waiver permanent for Advanced Life Support and Basic Life Support. If the legislature does not act, the waiver will expire on July 1. For more information, click here.


May 10, 2022

 

Enhancing Funding Capabilities for Emergency Services

Representative Rigby introduced legislation in the near future which would increase the amount of ambulance tax second class townships may levy by amending the Second Class Township Code. Representative Rigsby’s proposed legislation would increase the permissible leverage of property taxes from .5 mills to 1.5 mills for the purpose of emergency services. It will also enhance how these funds may be used in accordance with current fire company provisions under the Second Class Township Code. This was introduced as House Bill 2601. For more information, click here.


June 1, 2022

 

Volunteer Fire Fighter Benefit – Adding Individual Firefighters to COSTARS Program

Representative Day introduced legislation to include individual volunteer firefighters in the COSTARS program. This was introduced as House Bill 2663. For more information, click here.


June 10, 2022

 

Fire Protection Equipment Program

Senator Browne plans to introduce legislation that would establish a Fire Protection Equipment program. This program would require registration of a person or company before fire protection equipment work can be performed in Pennsylvania. It would also require certification of technicians to ensure they are proficient in performing fire protection equipment work. For more information, click here.


June 13, 2022

 

Fire Relief Fix

Senator Stefano plans to introduce legislation that will help ensure that a baseline amount of funds are going to Fire Relief. Specifically, Senator Stefano’s proposed legislation would amend the Tax Reform Code by depositing all Insurance Premium Taxes into the General Fund and then transferring a fixed percentage with a baseline floor amount of the total revenue to Fire Relief Fund and the Municipal Pension Aid Fund. This change guarantees the Fire Relief and Municipal Pension Funds a specific funding amount each fiscal year to protect against unforeseen declining revenues and provides greater transfer amounts with the fixed percentage when Insurance premium receipts increase. For more information, click here.


June 20, 2022

 

Amending the Sports Raffles Charities Act to also go to Volunteer Fire Grants and Lottery Funds

Representative Day plans to introduce legislation to amend the Sports Raffles Charities Act (Act 56 of 2019) to further distribute the raffle money for Fire Grants (volunteer fire fighters) and the Lottery Fund (seniors). For more information, click here.


June 28, 2022

 

Bill Package utilizing funding from the Fireworks Tax for Fire and EMS Programs

Representatives Farry, Culber, Polinchock, Rigby and Labs introduced legislation creating financial and educational assistance for first responders, further providing for public safety. This package of legislation will utilize revenue collected from the existing Fireworks tax. Introduced as House Bills 2726, 2728, 2729, 2730 and 2731. For more information, click here.


June 29, 2022

 

Fire Course Registry

Representative Markosek plans to introduce legislation that would provide a comprehensive online registry of fire courses completed by firefighters. The proposed online education certification management system would be similar to the current system utilized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for medical responders, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics. For more information, click here.

 


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