May. 28, 2020

HARRISBURG – The House today approved in a bipartisan fashion legislation by Reps. Kate Klunk (R-York), Frank Farry (R-Bucks) and John Hershey (R-Mifflin/Juniata/Franklin) to permit social organizations, such as veteran and other social clubs, to utilize small games of chance profits to meet financial obligations during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Social organizations, like so many businesses, were hit hard financially during the closure order. These are the clubs that ensure little leaguers have uniforms and do other great deeds for our community,” Klunk said. “House Bill 777 would help make sure these clubs will be around for years to come so that they can continue to fulfill civic duties.”

Specifically, House Bill 777 would alter the state-imposed financial requirements social clubs must adhere to regarding small games of chance profits. Normally, proceeds from small games of chance are split with 60% going to charitable purposes and the remaining 40% staying with the clubs. The proposal would change the fund distribution ratio during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that a club would be able to use the 60% to cover general operating expenses, such as rent, payroll and utilities.

“With this change, clubs will have a financial lifeline to help them stay afloat during the COVID-19 emergency,” Farry said. “Many clubs have proceeds in their charitable giving accounts that are not being distributed because the clubs cannot meet. This bill would provide vital cash to restock their food and beverage inventories and cover other fixed costs when they are allowed to reopen.”

Social clubs were ordered closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving them without the ability to raise funds to cover expenses.

“Many people don’t realize the outsized role these clubs have sponsoring important community functions like little leagues, veterans’ events and first responders. Their philanthropy is to be commended, and the Legislature should take steps to help them stay solvent during this time,” Hershey said.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Kate A. Klunk
169th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
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