HARRISBURG – When state Rep. Jim Rigby (R-Johnstown) returned home from session last fall, news of House passage of a series of “Helpers and Heroes” bills for emergency responders was very well received. Still, he knew the process was merely a third of the way done.
“To become law in Pennsylvania, every piece of legislation needs the vote of at least 102 House members and 26 state senators, in addition to the governor’s signature,” Rigby pointed out. “We laid the groundwork and are now waiting for our colleagues to keep the momentum going.”
Last October, Rigby and his House colleagues overwhelmingly advanced to the Senate 16 bills which support Pennsylvania’s volunteer emergency responders. All 16 are sitting in various Senate committees, waiting to be considered.
“Our volunteer fire companies and emergency medical service (EMS) providers have begun encouraging members to contact their state senator and check the progress of this legislation,” said Rigby. “The House initiated this effort to assist our volunteer emergency responders, who are fighting levels of attrition that threaten their ability to protect the communities they voluntarily vow to serve.
“The subject of these bills ranges from tax breaks and loan forgiveness for volunteers to providing programs which address their mental health and wellness needs. Our legislative staff began working on these bills last summer and there’s no good reason why they shouldn’t, at the very least, be sitting on Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.”
Questions about this or any legislative issue should be directed to Rigby’s district office by calling 814-536-9818.
Representative Jim Rigby
71st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott B. Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5967 (cell)