Pennsylvania’s auditor general wants to reduce restrictions on how firefighters can spend state aid, but Western Pennsylvania fire departments have mixed feelings over whether change is needed.
“The law has not kept pace with changing times and, in my view, puts too many restrictions on how relief associations can spend the state aid they receive,” Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said at a news conference Thursday.
Most volunteer fire departments have affiliated relief associations, which receive money from the state and spend it on equipment, insurance and training for the department’s members.
The state aid money comes from a tax on fire insurance premiums provided by out-of-state companies.
The Department of the Auditor General oversees the program. In 2018, it distributed $55 million to more than 2,500 municipalities.