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                                                      PRINTER'S NO. 1028

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA


HOUSE BILL

No. 872 Session of 2003


        INTRODUCED BY RUFFING, DeWEESE, BEBKO-JONES, BELARDI, BROWNE,
           BUNT, CAWLEY, CIVERA, COSTA, CURRY, DALEY, FABRIZIO, FRANKEL,
           GEIST, GEORGE, GERGELY, HARHAI, HENNESSEY, HERMAN, HORSEY,
           HUTCHINSON, JAMES, JOSEPHS, LAUGHLIN, LEACH, MANN, McGEEHAN,
           MELIO, PALLONE, PISTELLA, READSHAW, ROBERTS, ROONEY, RUBLEY,
           SAINATO, SHANER, SOLOBAY, STURLA, TANGRETTI, TIGUE, WALKO,
           WHEATLEY, WOJNAROSKI, YOUNGBLOOD AND YUDICHAK, MARCH 13, 2003

        REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY
           PREPAREDNESS, MARCH 13, 2003

                                     AN ACT

     1  Establishing a grant program for paid municipal fire
     2     departments; and making an appropriation.

     3     The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     4  hereby enacts as follows:
     5  Section 1.  Short title.
     6     This act shall be known and may be cited as the Municipal
     7  Fire Department Grant Act.
     8  Section 2.  Definitions.
     9     The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
    10  have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
    11  context clearly indicates otherwise:
    12     "Advanced life support services."  The term shall have the
    13  meaning given to it in the act of July 3, 1985 (P.L.164, No.45),
    14  known as the Emergency Medical Services Act.
    15     "Agency."  The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

     1     "Basic life support services."  The term shall have the
     2  meaning given to it in the act of July 3, 1985 (P.L.164, No.45),
     3  known as the Emergency Medical Services Act.
     4     "Commissioner."  The State Fire Commissioner.
     5     "Facility."  A structure or portion thereof intended for the
     6  purpose of storage or protection of firefighting apparatus,
     7  ambulances and rescue vehicles and related equipment and gear.
     8  The term does not include meeting halls, social halls, social
     9  rooms, lounges or any other facility not directly related to
    10  firefighting or the furnishing of ambulance or rescue services.
    11     "Fiscal year."  The fiscal year of the Commonwealth.
    12     "Municipality."  A city, borough, incorporated town, township
    13  or home rule municipality.
    14     "Pension plan or system."  The term shall have the meaning
    15  given to it in section 102 of the act of December 18, 1984
    16  (P.L.1005, No.205), known as the Municipal Pension Plan Funding
    17  Standard and Recovery Act.
    18     "Plan year."  The 12-consecutive-month period applicable to a
    19  pension plan which is utilized for various actuarial and
    20  financial purposes and which shall be considered a calendar year
    21  commencing on January 1 and ending on December 31.
    22     "Program."  The Municipal Fire Department Grant Program
    23  established in section 3.
    24     "Unfunded actuarial accrued liability."  The term shall have
    25  the meaning given to it in section 102 of the act of act of
    26  December 18, 1984 (P.L.1005, No.205), known as the Municipal
    27  Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act.
    28  Section 3.  Municipal Fire Department Grant Program.
    29     (a)  Establishment.--The Municipal Fire Department Grant
    30  Program is established and shall be administered by the agency
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     1  in consultation with the commissioner. Grants provided under the
     2  program shall be used to improve and enhance the capabilities of
     3  the paid municipal fire department to provide firefighting,
     4  ambulance and rescue services.
     5     (b)  Guidelines and procedures.--The agency shall develop
     6  guidelines, procedures and all applications necessary to
     7  implement the program. The agency shall submit the guidelines,
     8  procedures and applications to the Legislative Reference Bureau
     9  for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and Pennsylvania
    10  Code within 90 days of the effective date of this act.
    11  Section 4.  Award of grants.
    12     (a)  Authorization.--The agency is hereby authorized to make
    13  grant awards to each eligible municipal fire department for the
    14  following:
    15         (1)  Construction and renovation of the fire department's
    16     facility and purchase or repair of fixtures and furnishings
    17     necessary to maintain or improve the capability of the
    18     department to provide fire, ambulance and rescue services.
    19         (2)  Repair of firefighting, ambulance or rescue
    20     equipment or purchase thereof.
    21         (3)  Debt reduction associated with paragraph (1) or (2).
    22         (4)  Contributions to a pension plan or system designated
    23     for paid firefighters that has an unfunded actuarial accrued
    24     liability as of the most recent plan year.
    25     (b)  Limits.--
    26         (1)  Grants awarded under this act shall be made on a
    27     competitive basis following the submission of an application
    28     and an appropriate review procedure undertaken by the agency
    29     in consultation with the commissioner, and not be less than
    30     $50,000 nor more than $2,000,000 per municipal fire
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     1     department.
     2         (2)  No municipal fire department shall receive more than
     3     one grant per fiscal year under sections 4 and 5.
     4     (c)  Time for filing application and department action.--
     5         (1)  The agency shall provide applications for grants
     6     under this act to every paid fire department serving a
     7     municipality in this Commonwealth on or before August 1 of
     8     that year.
     9         (2)  Municipal fire departments seeking grants under this
    10     act shall submit completed applications to the agency on or
    11     before November 1 of that year. The agency shall act to
    12     approve or disapprove the application by December 31 of that
    13     year. Applications which have not been approved or
    14     disapproved by the agency by December 31 shall be deemed
    15     approved.
    16         (3)  Applications submitted after the November 1 deadline
    17     shall be accepted by the agency and grants may be awarded at
    18     the discretion of the agency from the reserve funds set aside
    19     under section 5.
    20     (d)  Eligibility.--Grant funds awarded under this act shall
    21  be limited to paid fire departments serving a municipality or
    22  municipalities within this Commonwealth.
    23  Section 5.  Reserve funds.
    24     (a)  Percentage.--The agency shall reserve an amount not to
    25  exceed 3% of the funds allocated in section 6 for the program
    26  for the purposes of awarding grants to municipal fire
    27  departments that submit applications after the November 1
    28  deadline, that would have otherwise been eligible for and been
    29  awarded a grant under the program.
    30     (b)  Limitations.--No municipal fire department may receive a
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     1  grant from reserve funds in an amount greater than the amount
     2  that it would have received had it applied in a timely manner.
     3  Section 6.  Program funding.
     4     (a)  Initial appropriation.--The sum of $25,000,000, or as
     5  much thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to the
     6  Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for the purpose of
     7  making grants to eligible municipal fire departments under this
     8  act.
     9     (b)  Subsequent appropriations.--The General Assembly shall
    10  annually include in the appropriation to the Pennsylvania
    11  Emergency Management Agency in the General Appropriation Act an
    12  appropriation from the General Fund in an amount sufficient to
    13  make grant awards under this act.
    14     (c)  Restriction.--No moneys from the appropriation for
    15  grants to municipal fire departments authorized under this act
    16  shall be used for expenses or costs incurred by the agency for
    17  the administration of the program.
    18  Section 20.  Effective date.
    19     This act shall take effect July 1, 2003, or immediately,
    20  whichever is later.







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