Senator Fred Akshar is seeking input from constituents on two of his proposals related to first responders, EMS workers, police and firefighters:
1. S.338 - Increasing the volunteer firefighters' and ambulance workers' credit.
Currently, volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers receive a personal income tax credit of $200. This bill would increase the base tax credit to $500, going up to $1,000 after five years of service in good standing. It would also increase the tax credit for married volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers to $2,000 who each have five or more years and are in good standing.
In addition to giving volunteers a well-earned tax credit, it can also serve as another incentive for volunteer fire departments to increase their recruitment. Fire department membership has declined in recent years and these incentives are a tool to bolster recruitment and continue the invaluable services volunteer first responders provide. To read more about this legislation, click here.
2. S.335 - Community Heroes Protection Act, which designates targeted offenses against first responders, firefighters, EMS personnel and police officers as hate crimes. In the past two years alone, firefighters from across the country have come under attack while answering the call, and their health and safety put in jeopardy by some of the very people they're trying to help. From Washington DC to San Diego to Hell's Kitchen in New York City, firefighters and EMS workers continue to be attacked while on duty. This legislation aims to protect the men and women who put their lives on the line to serve and protect our communities while they do their jobs. To read more about this legislation, click here.