PRINTER'S NO. 52
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
71
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY GREENLEAF, VULAKOVICH, BAKER, ARGALL, SCHWANK,
BREWSTER, SCARNATI, RESCHENTHALER, COSTA, YUDICHAK, YAW,
HUTCHINSON, WHITE, RAFFERTY, STEFANO AND BOSCOLA,
JANUARY 12, 2017
REFERRED TO EDUCATION, JANUARY 12, 2017
AN ACT
Establishing a tuition credit program for certain members of
volunteer fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and
volunteer rescue squads and their dependent children and
spouses.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Volunteer
Emergency Service Tuition Credit Program Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Community college." A public college or technical institute
which is established and operated under Article XIX-A of the act
of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School
Code of 1949, and all branches or campuses of a community
college.
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"Firefighter." A member of a volunteer fire company.
"State Fire Commissioner" or "commissioner." The State Fire
Commissioner appointed under 35 Pa.C.S. ยง 7383 (relating to
State Fire Commissioner).
"Volunteer." A firefighter or member of a volunteer
ambulance service or volunteer rescue squad.
"Volunteer ambulance service." Any nonprofit chartered
corporation, association or organization located in this
Commonwealth and regularly engaged in the service of providing
emergency medical care and transportation of patients.
"Volunteer fire company." A nonprofit chartered corporation,
association or organization located in this Commonwealth that
provides fire protection services and may offer other voluntary
emergency services within this Commonwealth. Voluntary emergency
services may include voluntary ambulance and voluntary rescue
services.
"Volunteer rescue squad." Any nonprofit chartered
corporation, association or organization located in this
Commonwealth which provides rescue services in this
Commonwealth.
Section 3. Tuition credit program.
(a) General rule.--A person who is an active member of a
volunteer fire company, volunteer ambulance service or volunteer
rescue squad in good standing and the dependent children and
spouse of such volunteer shall be eligible to enroll in
postsecondary courses on a tuition-credit basis in a community
college.
(b) Amount.--A volunteer and the volunteer's dependent
children and spouse shall be eligible to receive tuition credit
in the aggregate amount of $600 per year, not to exceed an
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aggregate maximum of $2,400 over a four-year service period.
(c) Availability.--The tuition credit may be utilized for a
course offered by the community college provided that available
classroom space permits and that tuition-paying students
constitute the minimum number required for the course.
(d) Construction.--Nothing in this act shall be construed to
prohibit a community college from requiring registration and lab
fees for individuals attending courses under this act.
Section 4. Eligibility.
In order for a volunteer or a volunteer's dependent child or
spouse to be eligible to receive tuition credit, the volunteer
must agree to serve as a member of a volunteer fire company,
volunteer ambulance service or volunteer rescue squad for a
minimum of four years and sign an agreement with the volunteer
organization pledging four years of service in exchange for the
tuition credit. Following each year of active volunteer
services, the volunteer organization shall provide the State
Fire Commissioner with a letter verifying that the volunteer has
been a member in good standing for the past 12 months.
Section 5. Verification of service.
Upon being accepted and enrolled in a community college, the
volunteer, dependent child or spouse shall provide the community
college with a sworn or official statement of fact by the
commissioner attesting that the volunteer has performed the
service required for the tuition credit. Upon completion of each
semester, the volunteer shall submit a transcript to the
commissioner to be maintained in a permanent record. The
volunteer, dependent child or spouse must maintain a "C" grade
average in order to continue eligibility for the tuition credit
program.
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Section 6. Issuance of certificate of authorization.
The commissioner shall issue a certificate of authorization
to the volunteer, dependent child or spouse to be presented to
the community college, stating that the volunteer, parent or
spouse is a member in good standing of a volunteer fire company,
volunteer ambulance service or volunteer rescue squad.
Section 7. State Fire Commissioner duties.
The Office of the State Fire Commissioner shall develop such
procedures and forms as it deems necessary to carry out the
provisions of this act.
Section 8. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 30 days.
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