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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: July 19, 2013 03:17 PM
From: Representative Matthew E. Baker
To: All House members
Subject: Increase VLAP Loan Amounts for Volunteer Fire/EMS Departments
In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation which amends Title 35 (Health and Safety) to update the Volunteer Loan and Assistance Program" (VLAP) which provides 2% loans to Volunteer Fire and EMS departments. This legislation increases the maximum program loan amounts making these loan amounts comparable to the value of today's dollar. This legislation is similar to House Bill 343 of last Session.

In addition, this proposal will require a showing of need for any apparatus that is an additional piece and not replacing an existing apparatus. This will help preserve the fund while incentivizing local governments and fire companies to strongly consider the absolute needs for maintaining fire protection services in our communities.

My proposal will also give the Office of the State Fire Commissioner the discretionary authority to require other types of collateral for securing a loan so as to not jeopardize a fire company’s ability to receive and use federal grant money to assist in the purchase of apparatus.

Furthermore, this legislation will limit Volunteer Fire/EMS departments, who have merged into one entity, to ten (10) loans at one time for a period of ten (10) years from their merger date. Current practice only allows a Fire/EMS department to carry three (3) VLAP loans at a given point in time. This current provision penalizes Fire/EMS departments who have recently merged. For example, if four (4) departments were to merge, they would be limited to only three (3) loans rather than the twelve (12) that they would have been eligible for had they not merged

Introduced as HB1706