Robinson Plan to Generate More Private Donations to Support Veterans Passes Senate

HARRISBURG – Senator Devlin Robinson’s bill to allow Pennsylvanians to voluntarily donate more money to help veterans was approved today unanimously by the Senate.

“There are close to one million veterans living in Pennsylvania,” Senator Robinson (R-37) said. “It is estimated that 6.5 percent of them live in poverty. Through my experience working with numerous Veterans charities such as Semper Fi Odyssey, Veterans Place and Veterans Leadership Program in Western Pennsylvania, I have witnessed firsthand the struggles my fellow veterans face when they return home. Today, we have the opportunity to pause in our busy lives and acknowledge Pennsylvania veterans and their willingness to serve.”

Under current law, state residents can donate $3 to support the Veterans’ Trust Fund when they renew a driver’s license, ID card or vehicle registration. Senate Bill 96 would increase the voluntary donation from $3 to $5, or from $6 to $10 when applying for a two-year vehicle registration.

All donations support grants to county directors of veterans’ affairs, veterans’ service organizations and other charitable organizations that provide assistance, shelter and living necessities to veterans and their families.

Expanding the donation thresholds is supported by Veterans Leadership Program, which is able to provide services to veterans because of funding they receive through this program.

“Each year, there are programs and services – potential life-saving programs and services – that do not get funded due to annual allocations,” said Ben Stahl of the Veterans Leadership Program. We are grateful to Senator Robinson for his efforts to get this bill passed. The bill will ensure a continuum of services are available for Pennsylvania Veterans and that the right resources are getting to the right veteran at the right time.”

“These servicemen and women have served our nation with honor and distinction and increasing the voluntary donation amounts to the Veterans’ Trust Fund is a simple way to show our gratitude,” Senator Robinson said.

The Veterans’ Trust Fund was established in 2012 and is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

CONTACT: Elizabeth Weitzel