Q In the absence of a tuition reimbursement policy, may a municipality reimburse out of the fire department training budget its certified firefighters all or part of the costs associated with a basic EMT class or a paramedic studies class at a college or university?

A Yes. A local governing authority may reimburse, pursuant to its authority under home rule, its employees for vocation or college level courses which are directly related to their job, as long as steps are taken to insure the payment of such costs does not constitute a donation. In order for such reimbursement not to constitute a prohibited donation, a policy should be implemented or an agreement entered into with the employee which requires the employee to reimburse the governing authority the expense of the education, if the employee leaves the governing authority before a reasonable period of employment. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Dye dated June 17, 2011)