Barrar’s Committee Supports Bill to Benefit Volunteer First Responders
HARRISBURG – Led by majority chairman Rep. Steve Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee today approved legislation to improve the recruitment and retention of volunteer first responders.

“As the struggle to attract volunteer first responders worsens, the committee and I are pleased to support a bill that would provide municipalities the ability to give back to the heroes in our communities who protect us from natural disasters, extreme weather and other tragedies,” Barrar said.

House Bill 1683, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland), would allow municipalities to offer income and/or property tax credits to volunteer first responders as a way to address the issues of recruitment and retention.

The committee also approved Senate Bill 490, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20), which would require the director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to be confirmed by the Senate.

“Because this important position holds a greater responsibility following the September 11, 2001, attacks, the governor’s proposed appointment should receive Senate review,” Barrar explained. “We want to ensure that future PEMA directors are top-notch and able to handle all duties, even as they increase to meet the needs of the Commonwealth during times of crisis.”

A resolution, sponsored by Barrar, also received support from the committee. House Resolution 527 urges the Pennsylvania delegation to the 114th Congress of the United States to support the passage of the Toxic Exposure Research Act of 2015. It would assist veterans who have been exposed to toxins, such as Agent Orange. The Act would also benefit veterans’ descendants who have been exposed to toxins from their parents’ military service.

The legislation now is awaiting a vote in the House.

More information about Barrar and his legislative priorities is available at or

Representative Stephen E. Barrar
160th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206 /
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