Bizzarro bill to improve charitable fundraising heads for House vote

Added to Saylor bill voted out of Liquor Committee today

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 – Legislation that would help non-profit organizations host more successful fundraising events for charity is heading to the House chamber for a vote after being added to another bill approved by the House Liquor Committee today, state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, announced.

Bizzarro’s H.B. 1406 would address a major obstacle affecting nonprofit organizations hosting charitable fundraising events: A provision of the state Liquor Code governing special occasion permits prohibits the companies these non-profits hire to plan and organize the events from managing the funds. As a result, the fundraisers are not as efficient or successful as possible.

Bizzarro said his legislation would change all that.

“Non-profit organizations such as churches and community groups often turn to event planning and organizing companies because of their expertise when it comes to fundraising events,” Bizzarro said. “Unfortunately, the law prevents these organizers from managing the funds, which greatly affects the success and efficiency of these events. My legislation would remove that obstacle by permitting event organizers and planners to collect and manage the funds as long as the non-profit organization is the primary host of the event and the funds are being raised for a charitable purpose.

“I’m delighted that this legislation is advancing to the House. Successful fundraising events are the lifeblood of non-profit organizations, which rely on the money raised to remain solvent and continue their charitable work. A small change to the law to improve the efficiency of these events would have dramatic results for these organizations – to the benefit of our entire Erie community.”

Bizzarro noted that his legislation was added as an amendment to H.B. 1542, a bill authored by state Rep. Stan Saylor, R-York, to extend special occasion permit days. Saylor’s bill would allow any entity eligible for a special occasion permit to obtain that permit for nine consecutive or non-consecutive days throughout the year, in addition to 10 consecutive days.  

“Today’s committee vote proves once again how much more we can accomplish when we reach across the aisle and work together,” Bizzarro said. “I’m hopeful that that bipartisan support will continue as this bill moves to the House chamber.”