HARRISBURG – This week, the House voted in favor of Rep. Rosemary M. Brown’s (R-Monroe/Pike) bill to authorize and regulate savings promotion raffles in Pennsylvania. Savings promotion raffles are financial products offered by banks or credit unions that give depositors a chance to win prizes as they build savings.
“These financial products are referred to as ‘no-lose lotteries’ because really the depositors’ balance is never at risk,” Brown explained. “I wanted to start a program like this in Pennsylvania because savings promotion raffles can be a building block to encourage and bring attention to families to start establishing their own financial reserves.”
House Bill 837 is modeled after the first program of its kind, which began in Michigan in 2009. Data from 2013 displayed that financially vulnerable participants increased their savings by 30 percent during a 12-month period. Due to Michigan’s success, 10 other states have created similar legislation.
Studies have confirmed that nearly half of American households have insufficient savings to cover three months of expenses, and approximately nine million American households are unbanked, meaning they do not have any accounts at a bank or credit union, Brown stated.
“This plan is intended to allow institutions to motivate and excite Pennsylvania households to save, encouraging them to increase their financial literacy and stability,” Brown said. “Data shows that a quarter of households earning between $55,000 and $90,000 also lack a three-month financial cushion – so this program can hopefully encourage families and individuals across the income-earning spectrum.”
In 2013, Brown began working as a member of the House Majority Policy Committee’s Empowering Opportunities: Gateways Out of Poverty policy initiative, led by then Majority Policy Chair, now Majority Leader Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana). This initiative was launched in response to the fact that many of the 1.6 million Pennsylvanians living in poverty are unaware that the American Dream still exists – and is intended to break down government-made barriers, and lead Pennsylvanians to means of self-sufficiency.
Over the last two years, and with the assistance of more than 100 community leaders, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, legislators from the House Republican Caucus forged legislation aimed to assist individuals break the cycle of poverty. Brown’s House Bill 837 is part of this policy initiative.
The bill has been sent to the Senate for its consideration.
For more information about House Bill 837
, or any state-related issue, contact Brown’s district office in East Stroudsburg located at 143 Seven Bridge Road, by calling 570-420-8301. Information about current legislation can also be found on www.RepBrown.com
Representative Rosemary M. Brown
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin