|Posted:||June 8, 2021 02:36 PM|
|From:||Representative David R. Millard|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Agricultural Fairs Funding|
|I will be introducing legislation amending the Fiscal Code to ensure that agricultural fairs receive the same amount of grant funding as each received in 2019. The PA Agricultural Fair Act (Act 92 of 1986) authorizes the Department of Agriculture to make grants to eligible county agricultural societies, independent agricultural societies and other organizations that conduct an annual agricultural fair. Grants support operating costs, capital improvement project costs (on a matching fund basis), and horse and harness racing at fairs.
In 2020, due to the restrictions on the number of people permitted to gather, 95 of the 108 agricultural fairs eligible for grant funding canceled the fair, eight held modified events, and five held a fair as normal. As such, language in last year’s Fiscal Code provided for payments to fairs in the amounts each received in 2019. Since the grants are normally awarded on a reimbursement basis and are only available to fairs that held events in the previous year, we are once again in a situation where almost all of the agricultural fairs will not be eligible for grants under the existing law.
The 2020-21 budget included $4 million for payments to PA fairs, as transferred from the Race Horse Development Trust Fund, and the Governor’s proposed budget for this fiscal year includes that funding transfer.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation that will support the fairs in their mission of service to their communities and local agriculture.
Introduced as HB1632