|Posted:||July 8, 2019 01:21 PM|
|From:||Senator Katie J. Muth|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Increase Volunteer Loan Assistance Program Loan Limits|
|In the near future, I will be introducing companion legislation to that of Representatives Culver and T. Davis that would increase the loan limits of the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program (VLAP).
Fire companies and ambulance squads across the state are struggling to recruit and retain volunteers. They are also forced to dedicate more and more of their time to fundraising to keep their fire stations and equipment up-to-date as they respond to a wider range of increasingly complex emergency calls.
VLAP is a proven, successful initiative that provides low-interest loans to volunteer fire companies and emergency medical services so they may purchase up-to-date equipment and vehicles and maintain and upgrade their facilities. However, the maximum limits on the loans offered through this program have not been raised since 2013, and in that time, inflation has increased by approximately 10%.
We are tackling this problem by offering a fix that would account for the increasing costs of equipment, vehicles, and facilities by raising all VLAP loan limits by 10%. For example, the current loan limit for the purchase of an ambulance is $100,000, and we would increase that limit to $110,000 so emergency medical services may be properly equipped.
To ensure that fire companies and emergency medical services have lasting access to financial assistance that can meet their needs, we should also annually increase all loan limits by the inflation rate from the previous year. This approach would solve a problem that would otherwise require legislative attention every few years.
Current loan limits have restrained fire companies and emergency medical services, and this legislation would provide these vital organizations with the ability to take our higher loans to buy or upgrade essential equipment and facilities.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.
Introduced as SB796