Keller introduced the bill as House Bill 575 with now former Republican Rep. Jeff Rezabek. It received three hearings int he Ways and Means Committee, but never received a vote out of committee.
Ohio State Firefighters Association President Christopher Peterson testified on May 22, 2018, before the committee supporting the bill, saying the tax credit will “give support back to a firefighter that serves their community.”
“Volunteer firefighters will sometimes give back to their community with little to no compensation. Some volunteers will even use personal funds and time to pay for training,” he said.
When Keller testified before the committee, she said last May these volunteer men and women take time off from their families or jobs to received these training and “receive the exact same training as career firefighters with the same number of hours.”
“Then after all these expenses of time and money, it has become difficult to keep volunteers,” she testified on May 15, 2018.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety reports a decrease of more than 1,700 volunteers since 2013, and according to Keller’s 2018 testimony, that leaves many departments “in a bind.”