Local Government Commission

of the  

Pennsylvania General Assembly

Local Government Commission

A LEGISLATIVE SERVICE AGENCY OF THE PENNSYLVANIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY

What is the Local Government Commission?

The Local Government Commission—a bicameral, bipartisan legislative service agency of the Pennsylvania General Assembly created in 1935 by an Act of Assembly—is one of the oldest agencies of its kind in the country. Five Senators and five Representatives, appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively, constitute the Commission. The ten Members, three from the majority party and two from the minority party in each chamber, collectively work by consensus for more effective and efficient local government.  Click here    for a brochure.


Staff

David A. Greene, Esq.
Executive Director
Kristopher J. Gazsi, Esq.
Assistant Director
Wanda S. Dehan, Esq.
Legal Counsel
Danette H. Magee
Senior Research Analyst
Julia E. Frey
Research Analyst
Karen S. Bear
Executive Assistant
Sonya I. Ebersole
Fiscal Administrator

SENATE MEMBERS

HOUSE MEMBERS


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 County Code, Third Class City Code, Borough Code and Second Class Township Code.


Recent Publications

2016-Present
Quarterly Legal Update - court decisions affecting municipalities.
1978-Present
Acts Signed Into Law by the Governor (published regularly).
2018
Property Assessment Contracting, Self-Evaluation, Public Relations and Data Collector Standards guidance documents for county commissioners and assessors.
September 2017
Pennsylvania Legislator's Municipal Deskbook, 5th ed.
October 2013
Act 47 of 1987 Municipalities Financial Recovery Act 2013 Task Force Report.
October 2012
Senate Resolution 323 of 2010 Report, Study of Statutory Mandates Place on Counties and Municipalities.
August 2006
A 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 2017 Supplement.
September 1999
Report of the House Resolution 167 Task Force: Recommendations on Improving Local Policing.
Municipal Codes
First Class Township Code and Second Class Township Code cumulative 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 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 have been codified 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.