Local Government 2019-2020

The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 and took the following action:

Reported unanimously as committed:

SB 494, PN 528 (Martin) – This legislation would amend Act 78 of 1979 to allow political subdivisions and authorities to enter to contracts for services when two consecutive advertisements fail to induce bids.

SB 495, PN 529 (Kearney) – This bill amends the Borough Code to require a voter referendum before a court grants or denies a petition to reduce the size of a borough council.

SB 688, PN 827 (Martin) – This bill amends the Borough Code to standardize the maximum salaries of elected borough officials allowed.

SB 689, PN 828 (Martin) – This bill amends the Second Class Township Code to standardize the maximum salaries of elected borough officials allowed.

SB 690, PN 829 (Hutchinson) – This bill amends Act 34 of 1953 to increase the value of municipal real estate requiring competitive bidding in order to be sold by incorporated towns.

SB 691, PN 830 (Hutchinson) – This bill amends the Second Class Township Code to increase the value of municipal real estate requiring competitive bidding in order to be sold by Second Class towns.

SB 692, PN 831 (Hutchinson) – This bill amends the Borough Code and the Third Class City Code to increase the value of municipal real estate requiring competitive bidding in order to be sold by incorporated towns.

Reported as committed by a vote of 10-1:

SB 493, PN 527 (Kearney) – This legislation would amend the Consolidated County Assessment Law to more precisely define changes to property that do or do not require reporting to county assessment offices and changes to the property assessment. It also requires the forwarding of demolition permit info to county assessment offices and provides accountability measures to ensure reporting.


The Senate Local Government Committee met on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 and took the following action:

Reported as committed by a vote of 10-1:

SB 321, PN 717 (Martin) –  The bill creates a new chapter within Title 53 to provide for the option to prohibit the location of Video Gaming Terminal licenses within a municipality.


The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, April 30, 2019 and took the following action:

Reported as committed by a vote of 7-4:

SB 531, PN 566 (Langerholc) – The bill declares the General Assembly’s past and continued intent to determine firearm and ammunition regulation, clarifies current preemption statutes, provides relief for adversely affected parties, and provides definition of adversely affected parties.

Senator Santarsiero offered amendment A00834 which would create an exemption which would allow for a local ordinance or rule to prohibit firearm possession on municipal property, including buildings, libraries and parks.

Senator Kearney offered amendment A00842 which would remove membership organizations with members in PA from the definition of “adversely affected persons” with standing to sue municipalities with ordinances that violate the preemption.

Both amendments failed by a vote of 7-4.

Reported unanimously as committed:

HB 510, PN 885 (Schemel) – This bill allows municipalities to enter intergovernmental cooperation agreements through resolutions and removes the requirement that such agreements must be entered via ordinance.

HB 511, PN 497 (Schemel) – Removes a Second Class Township Code requirement that townships may only enter intergovernmental cooperative agreements through ordinance.

HB 512, PN 498 (Schemel) – Removes a requirement that Cities of the Third Class may only enter intergovernmental cooperation agreements through ordinance.

HB 547, PN 886 (Emrick) – Allows First Class Townships to set annual tax rates by resolution if they are not raised.

HB 548, PN 887 (Emrick) – Allows Boroughs and Third Class Cities to set annual tax rates by resolution if they are not raised.


The Senate Local Government Committee met on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 and took the following action:

Reported unanimously as committed:

SB 110, PN 82 (Yaw) – This bill amends the process for local governments becoming home rule or optional plan governments, by limiting the frequency with which municipalities can place questions related to the creation of a governmental study commission on the ballot if any one of those questions was defeated in the last four years. The bill also restricts the placement of the government study commission ballot questions to general elections.

SB 316, PN 295 (Gordner) – This legislation would allow Second Class Township boards of supervisors to authorize newly elected supervisors to attend trainings relevant to their elected office prior to assuming office. This would also allow the boards of supervisors to pay for the expenses of these trainings.

SB 317, PN 296 (Gordner) – This legislation amends Section 3202 of the Second Class Township Code, providing for annual budget notification requirements. The legislation changes the number of days between advertising an amended annual budget (after significant errors are discovered in the initial proposed budget) and adoption of a final budget from 20 days to 10 days. Secondly, this legislation removes the requirement in Section 3202 to use a uniform budget form that is no longer in use, and made obsolete by Act 35 of 2000.

HB 264, PN 361 (Mako) – Standardizes procedure for authorities to manage funds and accounting practices, and provides for annual audits and public fiscal reports.

HB 275, PN 246 (Mehaffie) – This bill amends the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47 of 1987) to change the name of the Early Intervention Program to the Strategic Management Planning Program.

Senator Tim Kearney

Senator Tim Kearney

Committee Chair