|Posted:||April 26, 2021 02:34 PM|
|From:||Representative Joshua D. Kail|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Protecting Those Who Protect Us|
|In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that will allow municipal emergency service providers, such as our fire companies, emergency medical services, and municipal police departments to receive financial assistance to support tourism activities in the county in which they operate.
Tourism is one of Pennsylvania’s top industries, attracting an estimated 208 million visitors a year and generating an economic impact of $44.8 billion, including direct, indirect and induced dollars. As I’m sure we can all attest, this industry, a cornerstone of our state economy and one in which has been drastically impacted by the global health pandemic, will continue to be a focus of our collective economic growth and recovery efforts as we move forward.
In recent years, our municipal emergency service providers, especially our municipal police departments, have been hit hard by the raising prices of the economy while at the same time municipalities are looking to lower their overall costs. Additionally, our municipal police forces, who heroically put their lives on the line each and every day for the safety of our communities, have been hit with hurtful and unfair criticisms that is now affecting their funding. Any decrease in financial assistance will not only affect their operations but also opportunities to educate and train their officers to ensure that their ability to respond in our time of need is not compromised.
In an effort to help facilitate the recovery of our tourism industry, and to support to emergency service providers, my legislation will enable designated county tourism promotion agencies to direct, at their election, a portion of generated hotel tax revenues to municipal emergency service providers operating in their countries, something that state law currently does not provide. Providing this additional financial assistance to our emergency service providers, especially our municipal police departments, will not just benefit these entities, but more importantly, the residents of our communities in our unfortunate time of need. I believe it is imperative that our tourism promotion agencies have this ability to ensure that should calls for assistance be received, any and all resources that may be needed are available for the safety of both our citizens and our guests.
I respectfully ask for your consideration in joining me as a co-sponsor of this legislation.
Introduced as HB1484