The Senate today (May 28) approved and sent to the Governor legislation introduced by Senator Joe Pittman (R-41st) that would provide $50 million in grants for Pennsylvania’s fire companies and EMS squads as they address the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Recognizing that the ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak is placing a severe financial crisis on those vital first responders, Senate Bill 1122 provides $44 million for grants to fire companies and $6 million to benefit EMS stations.
“This is certainly welcome news for Pennsylvania’s first responders,” said Senator Pittman. “These men and women have seen their workloads increase while their funds have been depleted. Their traditional fundraising programs have been suspended by the coronavirus outbreak and they’ve had increased expenses for items such as personal protective gear. Our fire companies and ambulance crews have been on the frontline of the battle and it is only fair that they receive the support they deserve in recognition of their efforts.”
The Senate also approved House Bill 2387, a $25.8 billion, short-term budget that provides five months of funding for most state agencies and services. The appropriations in HB 2387 are based primarily on current funding for agencies and services in the current state budget, but allocated at a five-month level. Full-year funding is provided for a few select line items in HB 2387, notably for education and food security programs.
“There are just too many unresolved questions about our economy to attempt to budget for a full year at this point,” said Senator Pittman, who serves as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “However, it was important that we address education funding and ensure that all schools from pre-K to our universities know that they will receive a set amount of funding from the state.”
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