Robinson Bills Boosting Nonprofit Fundraising, Local Tourism Approved by Committee

HARRISBURG – Two bills aimed to help local communities were approved by the Senate’s Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee, according to the bills’ sponsor, Sen. Devlin Robinson (R-37).

Senate Bill 667 – which Robinson sponsored with Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-42) – would enable state-licensed and registered nonprofit organizations to accept electronic payment for fundraising raffles. Currently, only cash and checks are allowed under state law.

“There’s been a significant decline in attendance at fundraising events for nonprofits such as fire departments, churches and VFWs, which rely heavily on fundraising in order to serve their communities,” Robinson said. “By allowing people to purchase raffle tickets electronically through apps like Venmo, people will be able to conveniently support these nonprofits.”

The second bill passed by the committee – Senate Bill 845 – would formalize the tourism improvement district (TID) process in Pennsylvania. TIDs aim to increase the number of overnight visitors using local businesses and services by having a stable source of funding for marketing designed to boost tourism in a community. The bill would give counties the option to participate and would not require any new general fund dollars from state or local governments.

“Pennsylvania cities have many attractions that people from all around the world travel to visit. Speaking as a native, Pittsburgh has unique experiences and appeal – from museums to sporting events – that boost our city’s tourism,” Robinson said. “Authorizing TID enactment for counties would help cities continue to recover from the decrease in traveling due to COVID, while spurring economic development and job creation.”

Both bills now head to the full Senate for consideration.

Allison Dutrey

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