Allegheny County officials present plan to allow municipalities to disincorporate

Allegheny County officials present plan to allow municipalities to disincorporate

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, joined by his two predecessors Jim Roddey and Dan Onorato, introduced a report Thursday that they said would be the first step toward passing a state law to allow municipalities to disincorporate and rely on the county for government services. 

With 130 municipalities, more than any other county in the state, officials at the press conference said the proposed measure--a recommendation by the report Voluntary Municipal Disincorporation: Creative Solutions for Counties of the Second Class by the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics--would allow smaller municipalities who struggle to support local services such as police or trash collection, or even elect local officials, to become “an entity of the county.” 

Thursday, May 11, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh

Legislation gives Commonwealth a greater role in promoting local government efficiencies

A bill introduced with bipartisan support that would give the Commonwealth a greater role in promoting local government efficiencies cleared the House Urban Affairs Committee Tuesday.

House Bill 11 has been introduced by Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) and Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh) and will allow the Commonwealth to instruct local governments on the use of lean management practices to find efficiencies and innovations similar to that currently being sought by Gov. Tom Wolf’s GO-TIME initiative.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views

Municipal police regionalization is supported, but not without incentives

Following the release of a report last week by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee on municipal police regionalization, those involved in the legislature and municipal government say there is support for increased regionalization, but not without significant incentives.

Currently, all Pennsylvania municipalities are allowed to have local police departments, but only Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton are required to provide police services.

The number of municipalities providing their own full-time police services has decreased in recent years.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014/Author: Jason Gottesman
Categories: News and Views
Call For Systemic Municipal Reform Permeates Hearing on Act 47 Bill

Call For Systemic Municipal Reform Permeates Hearing on Act 47 Bill

The Senate Local Government Committee held a hearing Thursday on legislation reforming Act 47, which provides assistance to Pennsylvania municipalities who are fiscally distressed.

The focus of the hearing was on Sen. John Eichelberger’s (R-Blair) Senate Bill 1157, the unamended version of Rep. Chris Ross’s (R-Chester) House Bill 1773, the latter of which is poised for final consideration in the House when that chamber returns to voting session after the Easter break. 

According to Michael Gasbarre, Executive Director of the Local Government Commission, the entity whose concepts are articulated in the legislation, the bill the legislation would—among other things—provide a five year time limit for cities to exit distressed status under Act 47, would enhance the early intervention program, allows for new taxes and mandate relief for distressed cities, and provides for municipal disincorporation if (in extreme cases) the municipality cannot exit distressed status.

Thursday, April 10, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views

Act 47 Reform Legislation to Get House and Senate Action

Two bills reforming Act 47 will be subject of House and Senate action the second week of April.

Both House Bill 1773 by Rep. Chris Ross (R-Chester) and Senate Bill 1157 by Sen. John Eichelberger (R-Blair) were introduced following a Local Government Commission Task Force report detailing needed changes to the current law.

The bills were identical as introduced, but Rep. Ross’s bill has been amended as it moves through the legislative process.

Rep. Ross’s bill is ready for third consideration in the House as soon as Monday. Sen. Eichelberger’s bill will be the subject of a Senate Local Government Committee hearing on Thursday.

Rep. Ross noted the impetus behind the changes made in the bills is the fact that under Act 47 municipalities are not making the recommended difficult choices needed to get out of distressed status.

“They’re fiscally unstable, they continue to have problems with deterioration, the citizens really find they’re having trouble getting access to good services, and it really hampers economic growth,” Rep. Ross said. “It causes a series of problems.”

According to both Rep. Ross and Sen. Eichelberger, the biggest change both bills make is putting a five-year time limit on how long municipalities may stay under Act 47 distressed status. The status can be extended once for three years if certain criteria are met.

“This is going to force municipalities to make very difficult decisions up front,” Sen. Eichelberger said. “They’re going to have to come up with a plan and then execute it very quickly,” he explained of the effect of the changes.

Read more.

Friday, April 4, 2014/Author: The PLS Reporter
Categories: News and Views