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State Rep. Moul: Accept cash for school function tickets

State Rep. Dan Moul speaks during a legislative committee meeting.

Cash may not be king, but state Rep. Dan Moul wants to make sure it is accepted at school-sponsored activities in Pennsylvania.

Rep. Dan Moul, R-Gettysburg, is circulating a co-sponsorship memorandum for legislation he is drafting after several schools in the commonwealth have stopped accepting cash for admission to school activities, including sports games.

“Instead of accepting cash, spectators are now required to utilize a credit card for the cost of admission, with some events only offering ticket sales exclusively online or through an app,” Moul wrote in his co-sponsorship memorandum. “This has produced difficulties for individuals who do not utilize credit cards or who do not have the technical capabilities to access the internet or an app for ticket purchases. This especially disenfranchises

our senior citizens, who would like to watch and support their grandchildren at school-sponsored activities but cannot because they do not have the ability to download an app to purchase the tickets.”

Such legislation has been introduced in several states over the past couple of years.

Alabama, North Carolina, Ohio and Louisiana are among the states that have seen such bills introduced, with Ohio passing its bill in 2023. The Ohio bill was sponsored by state Sen. Sandra O’Brien, R-Lenox, after she witnessed a couple hoping to see their grandson play football turned away at the gate because they were not equipped to use the digital app to purchase tickets online, according to the Warren Tribune Chronicle. The language was included as a provision in House Bill 33, Ohio’s operating budget bill that passed in July, with the bill taking effect in October.

Along with local school facilities, the Ohio bill requires cash be accepted at school concession stands and it governs the Ohio High School Athletic Association, which handles ticketing for all Ohio playoff athletics. Previously, the OHSAA banned school districts from accepting any type of payment not made through its online app. Passage of the bill in Ohio doesn’t mean everything has gone smoothly.

“I can personally attest to the success of the program as I have witnessed lines forming at the cash only windows at local football games,” O’Brien wrote on her Senate website in October. “The pushback from the OHSAA was swift. They begrudgingly started allowing cash for ticket sales but in defiance raised prices for those tickets purchased with cash. It gets worse. This week we began the high school football playoffs and OHSAA has increased the punitive measure. If you decide to purchase a ticket using cash at the gate, you will pay anywhere from 30 to 70% more than if you purchased your ticket online. Charging a student $15 to attend their high school’s football game is unacceptable.”

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