|Posted:||February 22, 2017 09:16 AM|
|From:||Representative Patrick J. Harkins|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Ballot Referendum: Municipal Fire Department Loans (Re-introduction of HB-979)|
|In the near future, I plan to re-introduce House Bill 979, legislation directing the Secretary of the Commonwealth to place a binding referendum on the ballot at the next election to determine if it is the will of the electorate to allow up to $10 million previously authorized for volunteer fire and emergency services to be provided as loans to municipal fire departments for equipment purchases.
Specifically, this legislation will ask voters to help our full-time municipal fire departments establish or modernize facilities to house equipment or purchase new firefighting apparatus equipment, rescue vehicles, protective and communications equipment, and other equipment necessary for the proper performance of their duties. The loans would later be paid back.
My proposal will help reverse the growing trend of full-time fire departments being asked to do more with less. Our fire departments want to serve their communities by using the best industry practices and providing better and safer environments for all residents. However, decreased state and local funding, coupled with local budget cuts, has led to decreased staffing levels. This proposal would help provide full-time fire departments with additional funding opportunities.
Please join me in supporting our fire departments by co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as HB1264