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Local Government 2021-2022

The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 and voted on the following bills:

SB 275 (Yaw) – Prohibits municipalities from restricting or prohibiting the connection of utility service to a consumer based on source of energy.

  • Amendment A02585 (Dush) – amends the bill to clarify that the preemption does not affect a municipality’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of its facilities, and that land use decisions in accordance with the Municipalities Planning Code shall not be construed as preempted by the bill.

A02585 was adopted 12-2, with Sens. Kearney and Saval in the negative. The bill as amended was adopted on a party line vote, 7-4.

SB 448 (Langerholc) –  Reiterates the state’s preemption of municipal regulation of firearms, allows any legal firearm owner in Pennsylvania or member organizations that represent them to sue municipalities for firearm ordinances, and provides for municipalities to pay legal fees to such plaintiffs.

  • Amendment A02555 (Dush) – a technical amendment, correcting section numbers in the legislation.
  • Amendment A01003 (Collett) – guts and replaces the legislation with the language of SB 598, which allows municipalities to regulate firearm possession and use on municipal properties, and repeals the preemption of firearm regulation for home rule municipalities.

A02555 was adopted unanimously. A01003 was defeated on a party line vote, 4-7. The bill as amended passed on a party line vote, 7-4.

SB 755 (Kearney) – Amends the Municipalities Planning Code to explicitly allow municipalities to digitally submit and electronically transmit proposed or adopted land use ordinances, comprehensive plans, or amendments for review, comments, and recommendations.

The bill passed with a unanimous vote.

HB 430 (Emerick) – Provides for new home owners to receive a waiver from property tax penalty charges if they did not receive a bill notice within their first year of owning the property.

  • Amendment A02562 – adds provisions related to cases where real estate taxes are due on manufactured or mobile homes rather than real property; provides that tax collectors shall not be personally liable if acting in good faith in accordance with this legislation; and provides minor language clarifications.

A02562 was adopted unanimously. The bill as amended passed unanimously.

The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 and reported out the following bill:

HB 1591 (Knowles) – Amends the County Code to allow every county to maintain its current classification regardless of population changes reflected in the 2020 census, unless a county prompted to change classes chooses to do so by resolution.

  • AO2032 (Kearney) corrected language in the bill to ensure counties have the ability to choose to change classification if prompted by the 2020 census count. The amendment was unanimously adopted.

The bill as amended was adopted unanimously.

The House and Senate Local Government Committees held a public hearing on Monday, September 13, 2021 on positives experienced for local government entities during COVID-19 pandemic:

The Senate Local Government Committee met on Wednesday, June 23, 2021:

The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 and reported out the following bills. All votes were unanimous except where indicated:

SB 208 (DiSanto) – Amends the Municipalities Planning Code to clarify the limit of financial security to be posted for the completion of required improvements.

SB 327 (J. Ward) – Amends the County Code to require notification to the coroner of a death suspected to be due to contagious diseases related to a pandemic or health disaster emergency and access to death registry and certificate information.

  • A01656 was adopted and clarified Right to Know requirements as well as reporting requirements to the Office of the Prothonotary.
  • The bill as amended passed 7-4, with all Democrats voting in the negative.

SB 674 (Kearney) – Amends Title 8 to make several changes to the Borough Code in line with recent updates to the First Class Township Code.

HB 523 (Day) – Amends the General Road Law to require multiple owners of a private road to each contribute toward the maintenance of the private road unless there is a written agreement for maintenance.

  • A01569 was adopted and removed exemptions from the bill and made technical changes.

The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 and reported out the following bills unanimously:

SB 673 – Makes two specific changes to the Second Class Township Code in a manner consistent with recent revisions to the First Class Township Code as comprehensively updated by Act 96 of 2020. Allows Second Class Townships to appoint firms as township manager., and adds surcharge protections for township officials acting in good faith upon solicitor advice.

SB 675 – Makes a change to the Third Class City Code in a manner consistent with a recent revision to the First Class Township Code as comprehensively updated by Act 96 of 2020. Allows Third Class Cities to appoint firms as city manager, and specifies that only a city administrator who is an individual may also be appointed as CFO.


The Senate Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee and Local Government Committee held a public hearing on utility scale solar development :: May 25, 2021

Local Government and Environmental Resources & Energy Committees met on Tuesday, May 11, 2021: