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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 9, 2014 04:09 PM
From: Senator Matt Smith
To: All Senate members
Subject: Provide Flexibility for Volunteer Rescue Organizations' Fundraising
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce SB 1436 of the 2013-2014 legislative session. This legislation will make it easier for Volunteer Rescue Organizations to best utilize Special Occasion Liquor Permits for their fundraising efforts.

In 1976 the Commonwealth had close to 300,000 volunteer firefighters; today, there are 50,000. A new firefighter who wants to join is required to complete almost 200 hours of training; when you add those requirements to those of work, fire calls, other family demands, and fundraising, it is not surprising that those numbers are falling so drastically. My legislation will provide Volunteer Rescue Organizations with some relief on the fundraising front.

The bill I will introduce will amend Section 408.4(i) of the Liquor Code to increase the flexibility of Special Occasion Permits for Volunteer Fire Companies, Ambulance Companies, or Rescue Squads. Including these rescue squads will allow their Special Occasion Permits to be used for six nonconsecutive days or ten consecutive days; currently, an SOP can only be used for six consecutive or nonconsecutive days.

These inclusions currently apply to nonprofit performing arts organizations and museums.

Of the more than 1.1 million firefighters in the United States in 2012, around 783,300—69%— were volunteers, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Ninety-five percent served communities of fewer than 25,000 people.

Previous co-sponsors include Vogel, Fontana, Kasunic, Hughes, Vulakovich, Rafferty, Yudichak, Costa, Brewster, Solobay, Brubaker, Tartaglione and Browne.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. If you have any questions or comments, please contact my office at 717-787-5839.

Introduced as SB713