House Passes Knowles’ Legislation Giving Employer Tax Credits to First Responders
Legislation would impact COVID-19 state-related issues
HARRISBURG – Legislation that would provide tax credits to employers who allow their employees, who are volunteer firefighters or ambulance personnel, to respond to emergencies during work hours passed the House unanimously on Tuesday. According to Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill), the bill’s sponsor, these volunteers would receive no loss in pay and would not be required to use vacation time or sick time while serving their communities.

“We need to do everything in our power to be sure our volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services personnel are there when we need them,” said Knowles. “Statistics show that in 1976 we had about 300,000 volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania and today we are down to about 37,000,”

In addition, the bill would impact other COVID-19 state-related issues:

• Extend benefits offered by the Heart and Lung Act for police and other first responders who require quarantine because of COVID-19 by providing up to 60 days of paid leave and not requiringuse of sick leave or vacation.
• Require the Department of Health to make public COVID-19 cases with demographic information broken down into ZIP codes in Pennsylvania.
• Extend renewal deadlines for expired PennDOT documents.

“Just as important, our police officers and first responders need to know that we are there for them,” Knowles noted.

He concluded by noting that the people who are concerned about driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and handicapped placards that expire during this crisis are extended until 60 days after the declaration is lifted.

House Bill 1189 now heads to the Senate for consideration.

For more information about this legislation, or any other legislative topic, contact Knowles’ district office in Tamaqua at 570-668-1240, or in Hamburg at 610-562-3411. Information can also be found online at or

Representative Jerry Knowles
124th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 /