Senate Votes to Provide Security Grants to Faith-Based Institutions, Nonprofits

Harrisburg — The Senate approved legislation today to provide security grants to faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations, according to Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34).

House Bill 859 was amended by the Senate to make grants available to faith-based institutions and any nonprofit that services individuals, groups, or institutions included within the FBI’s bias motivation category for hate crime incidents.

“We are committed to protecting our neighbors that rely on faith-based organizations within our community,” Senator Corman said. “This process will allow those segments of our communities to apply for grants to allow them to enhance their security in a way that meets their needs.”

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program would be funded through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency by $5 million of unexpended and unencumbered state funds. Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $150,000, with larger amounts contingent upon the organization committing non-state matching funds. The program would begin to accept applications no later than March 1, 2020.

Similar to the recently enacted Safe Schools Grant Program, faith-based institutions and nonprofits may utilize the grant dollars for a variety of security planning, equipment, and technology needs, including metal detectors, surveillance cameras, emergency communications equipment, electronic locksets, threat assessments, and building upgrades.

The amended House Bill 859 returns to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Contact: Jenn Kocher (717) 787-1377 or jkocher@pasen.gov