Brown Introduces Bill Package to Strengthen EMS Funding in Municipalities

HARRISBURG – Sen. Rosemary Brown (R-40) announced a three-bill package today that would amend Pennsylvania’s municipal codes to help with emergency medical services (EMS) staffing costs.

“As chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, I often hear from municipalities that one-size-fits-all solutions can be problematic at the local level,” Brown said. “These bills give local officials more options when it comes to how EMS tax revenue can best support their local services.”

Currently, municipalities have the option to enact a local tax to support EMS. However, only half of the revenue generated can be spent on personnel costs.

Given the significant workforce issues EMS providers face, the current 50% cap is an impediment to hiring adequate staff and creates additional operational challenges for an already overburdened system.

Brown’s bills will not change the tax rate a municipality may charge under existing law, but would allow a municipality to waive the current cap to provide a larger percentage of the revenue generated to be used for personnel costs.

“Property taxes are a major concern for residents, and so is access to high-quality medical care during an emergency,” Brown said. “This legislation is respectful of taxpayer dollars by allowing for a more efficient use of an existing revenue stream, rather than seeking a tax increase.”

The Senate Local Government Committee will consider Senate Bills 1132, 1133 and 1134 at a voting meeting scheduled for April 9.