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PRINTER'S NO. 728
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
743
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY ORTITAY, STAMBAUGH, RYAN, HENNESSEY AND MADDEN,
MARCH 3, 2021
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY
PREPAREDNESS, MARCH 3, 2021
AN ACT
Amending the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), entitled
"An act relating to the finances of the State government;
providing for cancer control, prevention and research, for
ambulatory surgical center data collection, for the Joint
Underwriting Association, for entertainment business
financial management firms, for private dam financial
assurance and for reinstatement of item vetoes; providing for
the settlement, assessment, collection, and lien of taxes,
bonus, and all other accounts due the Commonwealth, the
collection and recovery of fees and other money or property
due or belonging to the Commonwealth, or any agency thereof,
including escheated property and the proceeds of its sale,
the custody and disbursement or other disposition of funds
and securities belonging to or in the possession of the
Commonwealth, and the settlement of claims against the
Commonwealth, the resettlement of accounts and appeals to the
courts, refunds of moneys erroneously paid to the
Commonwealth, auditing the accounts of the Commonwealth and
all agencies thereof, of all public officers collecting
moneys payable to the Commonwealth, or any agency thereof,
and all receipts of appropriations from the Commonwealth,
authorizing the Commonwealth to issue tax anticipation notes
to defray current expenses, implementing the provisions of
section 7(a) of Article VIII of the Constitution of
Pennsylvania authorizing and restricting the incurring of
certain debt and imposing penalties; affecting every
department, board, commission, and officer of the State
government, every political subdivision of the State, and
certain officers of such subdivisions, every person,
association, and corporation required to pay, assess, or
collect taxes, or to make returns or reports under the laws
imposing taxes for State purposes, or to pay license fees or
other moneys to the Commonwealth, or any agency thereof,
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every State depository and every debtor or creditor of the
Commonwealth," in emergency COVID-19 response, establishing
the Fire and EMS Relief Program.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known
as The Fiscal Code, is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 171-C. Fire and EMS Relief Program.
(a) Program established.--The Fire and EMS Relief Program is
established within the agency. The agency shall administer the
program for the purpose of awarding grants under this section.
The following shall apply to the program:
(1) (Reserved).
(2) Subject to the prohibition under subparagraph (ii),
grants may be awarded to eligible applicants for the purpose
of alleviating revenue losses and paying eligible operating
expenses. The following shall apply to grants awarded under
this section:
(i) A grant awarded to an eligible applicant under
this subsection may not exceed $150,000.
(ii) A grant may not be awarded to pay for the same
eligible operating expenses for which an eligible
applicant receives or received payment, reimbursement or
loan forgiveness from the following sources:
(A) The CARES Act or Consolidated Appropriations
Act, 2021 money that is not required to be repaid to
the Federal Government.
(B) The act of May 29, 2020 (P.L. , No.2A),
known as the COVID-19 Emergency Supplement to the
General Appropriation Act of 2019.
(3) The receipt of a loan or grant issued under the
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authority of the Federal Government or the Commonwealth shall
not disqualify an applicant from eligibility for a grant
under this section.
(4) Priority in the awarding of a grant shall be given
to an eligible applicant that meets any of the following:
(i) The eligible applicant has not received a loan
or grant issued under the authority of the Commonwealth
or the Commonwealth's political subdivisions or by the
Federal Government under the CARES Act or Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2021.
(ii) The eligible applicant has not been able to
hold fundraising activities because of the proclamation
of disaster emergency issued by the Governor on March 6,
2020, published at 50 Pa.B. 1644 (March 21, 2020), and
any renewal of the state of disaster emergency.
(iii) The eligible applicant has experienced a
reduction in revenue as demonstrated by any of the
following:
(A) A reduction in gross receipts of 25% or more
for the period beginning after March 31, 2020, and
ending before December 31, 2020, in comparison to the
period beginning after March 31, 2019, and ending
before December 31, 2019.
(B) If the eligible applicant was not in
operation during the entire comparison period under
clause (A), but was in operation on February 15,
2020, a monthly average reduction in gross receipts
of 25% or more for the period beginning after March
31, 2020, and ending before December 31, 2020, in
comparison to the period beginning after January 1,
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2020, and ending before April 1, 2020.
(5) The following shall apply to applications for grants
under this section:
(i) Applications shall be in a form determined by
the agency.
(ii) Applications shall contain documentation as
required by the agency.
(iii) Applications shall be available
electronically.
(iv) No later than 45 days after the starting date,
the agency shall receive and consider applications on a
rolling basis until funding for grants has been
completely expended, or 130 days after the starting date,
whichever occurs first.
(6) The following shall apply to reviewing applications
for grants under this section:
(i) No later than 160 days after the starting date,
the agency shall approve or disapprove applications.
(ii) Upon approving an application under
subparagraph (i), the agency shall enter into a grant
agreement with the eligible applicant in order to award
the grant.
(iii) The grant agreement required under
subparagraph (ii) shall explain the terms and conditions
of the grant, including the applicable laws of this
Commonwealth and reporting requirements.
(iv) The grant agreement under subparagraph (ii) may
be electronically signed and returned to the agency.
(7) An eligible applicant or authorized representative
of the eligible applicant that submits an application for a
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grant under this section shall certify in good faith to all
of the following:
(i) The eligible applicant was in operation on
February 15, 2020, and, if required, paid income taxes to
the Federal Government and the Commonwealth, as reported
on individual or business tax returns.
(ii) The eligible applicant remains in operation and
does not intend to permanently cease operations within
one year of the date of application.
(iii) COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact on
the eligible applicant's ability to engage in
fundraising, which makes the grant request necessary to
support the ongoing operations of the eligible applicant.
(iv) The grant will be used to pay for COVID-19-
related economic impacts to fundraising.
(v) The eligible applicant has not and will not
receive another grant under this section.
(vi) The information provided in an application and
all supporting documents and forms is true and accurate
in all material respects. An eligible applicant or an
authorized representative of the eligible applicant that
knowingly makes a false statement to obtain a grant shall
be subject to 18 Pa.C.S. ยง 4904 (relating to unsworn
falsification to authorities).
(8) The following shall apply to the awarding of grants
under this section:
(i) The agency may award grants in increments of no
less than $5,000 not to exceed the limitation under
paragraph (2)(i).
(ii) A fully executed grant agreement as required
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under paragraph (6)(ii) shall be required before the
disbursement of grant funds.
(iii) The aggregate amount of all grants awarded may
not exceed the amount of money appropriated for the
program.
(9) The agency may charge a fee not to exceed $500 per
completed and reviewed application for a grant under this
section. Fees charged under this paragraph shall be deducted
from the total amount of money appropriated to the agency and
may not reduce the amount of the grant awarded under this
section to an eligible applicant.
(10) A grant awarded under this section shall be paid to
an eligible applicant no later than 175 days after the
starting date.
(11) The agency shall compile a report on the grants
awarded under this section, which shall include all of the
following:
(i) A list of each grant awarded.
(ii) The name and address of each grant recipient.
(iii) The amount of each grant and a description of
the financial impact to each grant recipient.
(12) The agency shall submit the report under paragraph
(11) to the chair and minority chair of the Appropriations
Committee of the Senate and the chair and minority chair of
the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives
no later than 235 days after the starting date. The agency
shall post the report on the agency's publicly accessible
Internet website.
(13) The agency shall provide documentation to the
Department of Auditor General or the department, upon
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request, for purposes of an audit review.
(14) The agency may not impose additional requirements
the agency that are not specified in this section.
(b) (Reserved).
(c) (Reserved).
(d) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection:
"Agency." The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
"Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021." The Consolidated
Appropriations Act, 2021 (Public Law 116-260, 134 Stat. 1182).
"Eligible applicant." A volunteer ambulance service company,
volunteer fire company or volunteer rescue service company.
"Eligible operating expense." A nonbudgeted cost incurred as
a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Program." The Fire and EMS Relief Program established under
subsection (a).
"Starting date." The effective date of this section or the
effective date of an appropriation for distribution of grants
under this section, whichever is later.
"Volunteer ambulance service company." A nonprofit chartered
corporation, association or organization that is located in this
Commonwealth and that is regularly engaged in the service of
providing emergency medical care and transportation of patients.
"Volunteer fire company." A nonprofit chartered corporation,
association or organization that is located in this Commonwealth
and that provides fire protection services and other voluntary
emergency services, including voluntary ambulance services or
voluntary rescue services, in this Commonwealth.
"Volunteer rescue service company." A nonprofit chartered
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corporation, association or organization that is located in this
Commonwealth and that provides rescue services in this
Commonwealth.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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