Today, at the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Department, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06), Fire Chief Jim Bodony and Village President Alexander W. Demos praised legislation that halts specific regulations in the president's healthcare law that threaten work hours and specifically the ability of fire departments like the one in Glen Ellyn to provide emergency services through a volunteer force. The healthcare law drastically changed the definition of full-time work from 40 hours to 30 hours per week, causing businesses to reduce employee hours to avoid costs and fines associated with complying with the healthcare law's employer mandate. H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act of 2013, and H.R. 3979, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, which recently passed out of committee, would restore the 40 hour work week and permanently ensure that volunteer fire companies are not subject to the requirements and fines under the law's employer mandate. Volunteer fire departments would be faced with either thousands of dollars in fines, reduced staff and longer emergency response times.
"Four years after it was passed, the healthcare law is finally hitting home, impacting our workforce, our communities, and our daily lives," said Roskam. "Because of the far reaching regulations in Obamacare, employers are slashing hours, and full time work will soon be out of reach for many Americans who are already struggling to make ends meet in a tough economy. Even volunteer fire companies are getting swept up in the law's unintended and very negative consequences, facing crippling fines or fewer staff. Today, I am proud to stand with Chief Bodony and Village President Demos to bring attention to these harmful regulations, and what we're doing to create a permanent fix. We recently passed two bills out of the Ways and Means Committee on which I serve, that would restore the 40-hour work week and permanently free volunteer fire companies from the burden of Obamacare mandates so they can focus on what they do best, protecting our communities."
"Glen Ellyn is known as the community of volunteers because of organizations like the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company," said Alex Demos, Glen Ellyn Village President. "The members of the GEVFC not only put their life on the line for us, they do it for us 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for no compensation. The Village is 100 percent committed to supporting the GEVFC in any way possible to continue this great tradition. It is also important that we acknowledge the tremendous financial rewards that this organization has provided our Community over the years. I want to personally thank all those that have served and are continuing to serve for their contribution that has played such a significant role in making Glen Ellyn what it is today".
"I want to thank Congressman Roskam for his efforts in supporting legislation to protect our volunteer fire fighters," said Fire Chief Jim Bodony of the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company. "The majority of this country relies of volunteers who leave their homes and businesses, day and night, to respond to the aid of their neighbors, for little or no compensation. "This American institution should never be put in peril by our government, but rather supported to ensure its future."