– Rep. Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks) authored two pieces of legislation which were passed this week by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
House Bill 2682
, which he introduced with Rep. David Rowe, passed the House 189-13 this week. The bill would restore a statutory benefit previously afforded our veterans and require all Commonwealth departments and agencies, including the Department of General Services, to recognize all veteran-owned businesses (VOBs) as small diverse businesses (SDBs).
Prior to recent policy, VOBs were considered SDBs. This classification was taken away from veteran-owned businesses, without any hearing or input from representatives. Due to the policy change, veteran-owned businesses are required to seek a separate small diverse verification to be considered an SDB. Under current policy, a veteran-owned business could only receive this designation if the veteran proves he or she is also part of another designation.
“I believe it is our obligatory duty to help the brave men and women who have fearlessly answered the call of duty to serve our great country,” Polinchock said. “Taking away benefits and opportunities enjoyed by our veteran-owned businesses is simply inconceivable to me and should be rectified immediately.”
Additional legislation authored by Polinchock, House Bill 2729, would provide for Municipal Fire Department Capital Grants and was incorporated into House Bill 1178
House Bill 2729
would use fireworks tax to fund our firefighters and EMTs. The funding would be used to both renovate existing structures as well as acquire new facilities that house equipment and emergency response vehicles. This would help to ensure the equipment firefighters rely on is housed properly.
House Bill 1178 unanimously approved by the House this week would amend the Fire and EMS Grant Program to remove the “10-year provision” so fire companies that merge can continue to receive the combined total of their grants in perpetuity.
“Fire departments are facing continuous struggles which go beyond manpower and equipment,” Polinchock said. “Our first responders shouldn’t have to sell hoagies or host spaghetti dinners to ensure they have the resources to keep themselves and our communities safe.”
Both bills now head to the state Senate for consideration.