Local Government Commission

of the  

Pennsylvania General Assembly

Local Government Commission


What is the Local Government Commission?

The Local Government Commission is a bicameral, bipartisan legislative service agency. Having been created in 1935 by an Act of Assembly, it is one of the oldest agencies of its kind in the country. The Commission is comprised of five Senate Members and five House Members, appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively. A small staff, consisting of professional and support personnel, assists the Commission with its administrative and statutory duties.  Click here    for a brochure.


Philip H. Klotz
Executive Director
David A. Greene, Esq.
Assistant Director - Legal Counsel
Wanda Snader Dehan, Esq.
Associate Legal Counsel
Kristopher J. Gazsi, Esq.
Associate Legal Counsel
Danette H. Magee
Research Associate
Karen S. Bear, CPS
Sonya I. Ebersole
Bookkeeper-Codes Coordinator


Major Legislative Accomplishments

Major accomplishments of the Commission include enactment of legislation to implement Article IX of the Pennsylvania Constitution regarding:

  Home rule and optional plans of government.
  Intergovernmental cooperation.
  Area government and areawide powers.
  Municipal consolidation and merger.
  Local government debt.
  Municipal reapportionment.

They also include recodification of the Third Class City Code, Borough Code and Second Class Township Code.

Recent Publications

Acts Signed Into Law by the Governor (published regularly; online).
September 2014
Pennsylvania Legislator's Municipal Deskbook, Fourth Edition (updated periodically; online).
October 2013
Act 47 of 1987 Municipalities Financial Recovery Act 2013 Task Force Report (online).
October 2012
Senate Resolution 323 of 2010 Report, Study of Statutory Mandates Place on Counties and Municipalities (online).
August 2006
Report Issued Pursuant to House Resolution 509 of 2005: Findings and recommendations on the feasibility of a regionalized collection system for the locally imposed earned income tax levied by the Commonwealth's school districts and municipalities.
January 2006
Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code Recodification and Amendments 1988-2005, Historical Development and Commentary on Amendments, and 2014 Supplement (replacing previous editions; online).
January 2001
The Pennsylvania Real Estate Tax Sale Law.
September 1999
Report of the House Resolution 167 Task Force: Recommendations on Improving Local Policing (online).
Municipal Codes
County Code, First Class Township Code and Second Class Township Code (updates and supplements).

Functions and Responsibilities

  • Conduct or facilitate research projects on matters considered important by the Commission for all levels of local government; examples include studies on:
    • Municipal codes modernization.
    • Municipal fiscal distress.
    • State mandates on local governments.
    • Consolidated County Assessment Law.
    • Updating county bonding and fiscal security requirements.
    • Municipal Police Education and Training Law.
    • Real Estate Tax Sale Law.
    • Municipal tort liability.
    • Tax-exempt property.
    • Police classification and categorization.
    • Cable TV impacts on municipalities.
    • Local Government Unit Debt Act.
    • County row officer fees.
    • Personnel and contracting practices, and ratemaking and operation of large municipal authorities.
    • Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code revisions.
    • Local law enforcement needs.
  • Serve as a resource for Legislators who need various types of assistance on matters affecting local government, including assistance with constituent inquiries.
  • Assist, on request, standing committees in both the House and Senate.
  • Update and print the County Code, First Class Township Code and Second Class Township Code for distribution to Legislators and municipal officials throughout the Commonwealth. (The Third Class City Code and Borough Code are being or have been codified, respectively, into the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.)
  • Provide a summary of acts signed into law by the Governor for distribution to Members of the Legislature and to other interested parties.
  • Review certain intergovernmental cooperation agreements pursuant to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law.
  • Provide a forum at which statewide local government associations present their concerns, possible amendments to municipal codes and other legislative proposals, including resolutions adopted at their annual conventions, which they deem important to local government.