Senate Local Government Committee Reports Out Four Bills

HARRISBURG – The Senate Local Government Committee considered four bills during a meeting on Tuesday, according to Sen. Cris Dush, chairman of the committee.

The four bills, all receiving unanimous votes by the committee, are:

  • Senate Bill 589, which looks to amend the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law to allow a distressed municipality to form a government study commission directly and include a specific role for the Act 47 coordinator in the study and recommendation process.
  • House Bill 221, which would allow communities to better maintain municipal-owned lands used for parks and recreation purposes for residents by letting municipalities use the 25% of funds currently earmarked for maintenance and development under the “open space tax” to also be used for maintenance of all “open space” land, regardless of how it was acquired. Under current law, municipal property that serves an open space benefit but was not purchased under the auspices of the Open Space Air Act, cannot be developed or maintained using open space funds.
  • House Bill 1350, which seeks to make several changes to the Borough Code consistent with recent updates to the First Class Township Code, including preventing an elected or appointed official of a borough from being surcharged if the official acted in good faith on a written or publicly-disclosed opinion of the borough solicitor; authorizing a borough to appoint a partnership, limited partnership, association or professional corporation as the borough manager; permitting the civil service commission of a borough to reorganize within 30 days of the first Monday in January of each even-numbered year; and removing a requirement that a preliminary budget be prepared beginning at least 30 days prior to the adoption of the budget.
  • House Bill 1877, which would consolidate and modernize all law relating to a change in municipal boundaries other than those resulting from a municipal merger or consolidation. The Local Government Commission considers the bill to be the most significant boundary change legislation considered by the General Assembly during the past 50 years. The measure was amended by the committee to clarify conflicting language within the legislation.

All four bills head to the full Senate for consideration.

Video of the meeting.

CONTACT:    Zack Ankeny