Every month, Don Druck, quartermaster for Hellam VFW Post 7045, shuffles through half a dozen letters from local groups asking for funding.

He wishes he could help everyone, but he has to prioritize.

But with the state House approving an increase in the payouts for small games of chance last week, he might get his wish.

The House voted 166-24 to increase prize limits for small games of chance, which some nonprofit groups use for fundraising. The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration.

Reps. Keith Gillespie, R-Springettsbury; Scott Perry, R-Dillsburg; Ron Miller, R-Jacobus; Eugene DePasquale, D-York City; and Seth Grove, R-Dover, voted in favor of the bill. Rep. William Tallman, R-Adams/York, voted against it.

The same legislation was passed in the House last session, but was held up in the appropriations committee in the Senate. This time around, lawmakers think the legislation will move through the Senate because appropriations committee chairman Gibson Armstrong retired.

DePasquale said if the prize limits are raised, organizations will have more money to pump back into the community, for example, a park project. Those donations, he said, will help keep local taxes down.

"Instead of coming out of property tax, (project funding) is able to come out of donations from small games of chance," DePasquale said.

Donations: Druck's VFW post provides funding for the Veteran's Relief Fund, Eastern York high and middle schools and various other local groups.


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His post collects between $30,000 and $40,000 each year for those organizations, and he said increasing the payouts would make a significant difference.

"We would have more funds to donate," he said. "Plus we could increase the donations to organizations we already give to."

Rep. Tim Solobay, D-Washington County, sponsored the bill. If it passes in the Senate, single prize limits would increase from $500 to $1,000. Weekly prize limits would increase from $5,000 to $25,000.

"Our civic organizations are struggling financially," Solobay said. "Not only are they having trouble covering their expenses, but (they also) have little left over for the community projects they provide."

Volunteer fire companies, veterans' organizations, religious groups and civic and service clubs are some of the organizations that could be affected by the bill.

-- Reach Amanda Dolasinski at 505-5434 or adolasinski@yorkdispatch.com.