Local Government 2021-2022
The Senate Local Government Committee held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 to Consider Senate Bill No. 898.
The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 reported out the following legislation:
SB 831 (Dush) – Amends Title 16 (Counties) by consolidating Act 130 of 1955, known as The County Code
- Amendment A04361 (Kearney) – Technical amendment
- Amendment A04591 (Dush) – Incorporates Act 88 of 2021 into Title 16
- The amendments were adopted unanimously and the bill was reported as amended unanimously.
HB 2148 (B. Miller) – Amends Title 45 (Legal Notices) and Title 65 (Public Officers) to provide for redundant safeguard advertising of public meetings for political subdivisions and municipal authorities
- The bill was reported unanimously.
The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 reported out the following bills:
SB 1052 (Hutchinson) – Amends Title 53 to provide for emergency meeting powers and succession of local officers during an emergency.
Amendment A04391 (Dush) – Makes changes to notice and posting requirements, as well as a technical change
The amendment was adopted unanimously and the bill as amended was reported by unanimous vote.
HB 1213 (James) – Amends Title 53 to provide an alternative process for the formation of a government study commission to consider home rule for municipalities currently in the Act 47 recovery program
The bill was reported by unanimous vote.
HB 1947 (O’Neal) – Amends Title 53 to prohibit a municipality from enacting a policy that restricts or prohibits a specific type of energy source or discriminating against a utility service provider based on energy source
The bill was reported on a party line vote, 7-4.
HB 2116 (Wheeland) – Amends Title 11 to increase the maximum length of a state of emergency declared by a mayor from five days to seven days unless extended by council
The bill was reported by unanimous vote.
The Senate Local Government Committee met on Monday, April 4, 2022 to concider the following bills:
SB 1058 (Pittman) – Amends the Second Class Township Code to allow township supervisors to increase the compensation of township auditors
- Reported out unanimously
HB 1184 (Moul) – Amends Title 8 (Borough Code) to allow boroughs to form from any type of municipality, not just townships. Additionally, the underlying bill makes a number of technical amendments to the Borough Code, and replaces the current provisions in the code regarding accumulation and collection of garbage and other materials with a new chapter on Solid Waste Collection and Disposition.
- Amendment A03847 (Dush) – amendment ensuring that the borough formation process is applicable in Philadelphia. Adopted 7-4 on a party line vote.
- Amendment A03863 (Kearney) – Amendment removing the provisions expanding borough formation. Failed 5-6, with Senators Browne, Collett, Kearney, Saval, and Street voting affirmatively.
- Reported as amended by a 6-5 vote, with Senators Browne, Collett, Kearney, Saval, and Street voting against.
The Senate Local Government Committee met on Monday, February 7, 2022 to concider the following bill:
HB 2143 (B. Miller) – Amending Title 61 (Prisons and Parole) to require a county moving its classification to 2A on or after October 21st to continue to operate its prison board according to provisions applicable to counties of the third through eighth class.
- The bill was reported out of committee by a unanimous vote.
The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 and reported out the following bills:
SB 589 (Kearney) – Amends Title 53 to provide an alternative process for the formation of a government study commission to consider home rule for municipalities currently in the Act 47 recovery program
HB 221 (Rader) – Amends Act 442 of 1968 (1967), relating to Preserving Land for Open Air Spaces, by permitting open space tax funds to be used to maintain open space property not acquired under the Act.
HB 1350 (James) – Amends Title 8 to make several changes to the Borough Code in line with recent updates to the First Class Township Code
HB 1877 (Freeman) – Amends Title 53 to consolidate and modernize all law relating to a change in municipal boundaries other than those resulting from a municipal merger or consolidation
- Amendment A03505 (Kearney) – Clarifies the procedure for judicial adjustment.
- Adopted unanimously
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:
Senator Tim Kearney