Committee Wants to Give Firefighters “The Boot”

The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, chaired by Senator Randy Vulakovich, wants to give firefighters “the boot” – in a good way.

In fact, the Committee voted today in support of House Bill 138, legislation introduced by Representative Frank Farry, which would allow first responders — after getting local approval — to fundraise on local roadways, with programs such as those where firefighters collect donations in a boot. The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.

Senator Vulakovich, a former municipal police officer, said he recognizes the importance of the roadway fundraising efforts. “Many volunteer fire departments have historically held fundraisers along roadways without incident,” Senator Vulakovich said. “These types of fundraisers are often successful because they are highly visible to the community. Without such visibility, it can be difficult to attract attention for such worthy causes. Ultimately, this legislation would make the issue a local matter.”

In addition to House Bill 138, the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee also sent two other measures to the full Senate.

Senate Resolution 171, introduced by Senator David Argall, requires the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to study cost-savings for and the effectiveness of the state’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to have public-private partnerships to provide additional services to veterans.

House Bill 62, introduced by Representative Jerry Knowles, increases the time limit from five years to ten years that consolidated volunteer fire companies and ambulance services may receive a combined total in grant awards. House Bill 62 is the companion bill to Senate Bill 370, a measure introduced by Senator Don White that was approved by the full Senate earlier this year.

Contact: Nate Silcox (717) 787-6538