ECGRA Funding is on the Chopping Block

At 3 a.m. on June 7, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives offered an amendment to the Senate’s proposed gaming bill, generally referred to as “HB 271.” At 8 p.m. that night, the Committee on Appropriations voted to approve that bill, expanding gaming in Pennsylvania for the first time since its inception.

The Associated Press reported on the expansion and GoErie picked up the story but left out one very critical detail: The way gaming funds are distributed to the people of Erie County is being decimated. 

On pages 144 and 145 of HB 271, legislators eliminate ECGRA as a grantmaker and dictates that Erie County government would have power over Erie’s $11 million share of gaming revenue. The bill directs that gaming revenue be used to support infrastructure; police, fire, and other emergency services; city and county government operations; and to fund a land bank. The 203 organizations and nearly 1,000 programs, projects, and businesses funded via ECGRA’s impact investing model—deemed by the PA Gaming Oversight Committee as the model for the state—will likely not be funded.

House Gaming Oversight Committee Chairman Scott Petri opposed the bill and is quoted as saying, “We’re trying to jam something through quickly and we’re trying to get it in under cover of night,” Petri said.

HB271 has been returned to the Senate for approval where it will be revised or voted on when they return to session June 12. Please call representatives below this week and tell them to reverse HB271 and protect ECGRA funding!

Click here for tips for calling.

PA House of Representatives

Pennsylvania State Senate

Speaker of the House
Hon. Mike Turzai
139 Main Capitol
PO Box 202028
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2028
(717) 772-9943 
Fax: (717) 772-2470

President Pro Tempore
Senator Joseph Scarnati III 
Senate Box 203025 
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3025
Room: 292 Main Capitol
(717) 787-7084 
FAX: (717) 772-2755

Majority Leader
Hon. Dave Reed
110 Main Capitol Building
PO Box 202062
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2062
(717) 705-7173 
Fax: (717) 705-1947

Majority Floor Leader
Senator Jake Corman  
Senate Box 203034 
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3034
Room: 350 Main Capitol
(717) 787-1377 
FAX: (717) 772-3146

Minority Leader
Hon. Frank Dermody
423 Main Capitol Building
PO Box 202033
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2033
(717) 787-3566 
Fax: (717) 787-8060

Minority Floor Leader
Senator Jay Costa  
Senate Box 203043 
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3043
Room: 535 Main Capitol
(717) 787-7683 
FAX: (717) 783-5976

Hon.Parke Wentling
162A East Wing
PO Box 202017
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2017
(717) 783-5008 
(855) 249-2427 
Fax: (717) 705-1948

Senator Daniel Laughlin –a friend to ECGRA! 
Senate Box 203049 
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3049
Room: 184 Main Capitol
(717) 787-8927 

Hon. Curtis G. Sonney
161B East Wing
PO Box 202004
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2004
(717) 783-9087 
Fax: (717) 787-2005

Senator Michele Brooks  
Senate Box 203050 
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3050
Room: 351 Main Capitol
(717) 787-1322 
FAX: (717) 772-0577

Hon. Brad Roae (pronounced Roy)
162B East Wing
PO Box 202006
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2006
(717) 787-2353 
Fax: (717) 260-6505


Hon. Ryan A. Bizzarro
G01 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202003
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2003
(717) 772-2297 
Fax: (717) 780-4767


Hon. Patrick J. Harkins
202 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202001
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2001
(717) 787-7406 
Fax: (717) 780-4775


Hon. Florindo J. Fabrizio
200 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202002
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2002
(717) 787-4358 
Fax: (717) 780-4774


Tips for Calling for Legislators

  1. Call PA legislators in their Harrisburg or district offices (numbers listed above). Legislature is in session June 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. House and Senate members are typically in their Harrisburg offices Mondays through Wednesdays (and in their district offices Thursdays and Fridays; for district contact info, look here.

  2.  Identify yourself. Tell the person answering the phone who you are and the organization or group you represent.

  3. Ask to speak with your lawmaker directly.

  4. Be concise. State your reason for opposing HB 271. Ask the lawmaker's position. Be respectful even if the lawmaker does not agree with you.

  5. Be polite but firm. Ask your legislator to reverse HB 271 and protect ECGRA funding.

  6. If your legislator is not available, ask for a staff person with direct responsibility for gaming legislation. Leave a message with the receptionist or aide, voicing your support or opposition to HB 271. Call back if appropriate.

  7. Follow up your phone call with a thank you note, briefly restating your conversation.

Please watch here and on Facebook for updates.