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State Reimbursement to City of Harrisburg for Fire Protection and Emergency Services
October 8, 2013- Howard Ondick
HARRISBURG- Two state lawmakers are pushing legislation that would make permanent the state reimbursement of funds to the city of Harrisburg for fire protection and emergency services at the State Capitol complex.

Senator Rob Teplitz of Dauphin County, sponsor of the legislation in the state Senate, whose district includes the city of Harrisburg.

Senator Teplitz and state Representative Patty Kim (D-Dauphin County), the two state lawmakers who represent the City of Harrisburg, today unveiled their legislation at a State Capitol news conference to provide permanent state support to the city for providing fire and emergency services.

Senator Teplitz and Rep. Kim have authored identical legislation that would require full reimbursement from the state to the city for providing fire protection and emergency services to the 40 tax-exempt state-owned buildings located in the city.

 “The city provides a vital service to the state by ensuring the safety of thousands of state workers and visitors of the Capitol Complex, yet the service has always been underfunded, contributing to Harrisburg’s financial issues,” said Senator Teplitz, the author of Senate Bill 906. “We appreciate Harrisburg’s contributions and we want to make sure that the city is fully compensated.”

 “I am extremely grateful for the additional fire protection funding that came from this year’s budget. But, this is where level funding for Capitol Fire Protection should have been,” said Rep. Kim.

“There is no legitimate reason for Harrisburg to continue to subsidize the commonwealth for these valuable services. This proposed legislation will ensure that Harrisburg is properly reimbursed.”

Earlier this year, Senator Teplitz, Rep. Kim, Harrisburg Receiver Major General William Lynch and local officials successfully fought for

$5 million in the 2013-14 state budget to help cover the city’s annual cost of providing these services at the Capitol Complex.

The Harrisburg Strong financial recovery plan, which has been confirmed in commonwealth court, will be counting on continued full funding from the state for fire and emergency services through 2016.

 “I am pleased with the efforts of Senator Teplitz and Representative Kim on behalf of the City of Harrisburg,” Lynch said.

“I am sure that they will receive bipartisan support since the legislation makes sense and is appropriate for the Capital City.”

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