Local Government Commission

of the  

Pennsylvania General Assembly

County Code & Second Class County Code Consolidation & Revision

In March 2011, with authorization by the Local Government Commission, staff began providing support to the Pennsylvania State Association of Elected County Officials (PSAECO) County Code Revision Committee with the consolidation and update of the County Code and the Second Class County Code, as the latter pertains to second class A counties. The County Code had applied to third through eighth class counties and the Second Class County Code had applied to second and second class A counties. The County Code and the Second Class County Code had not undergone comprehensive updates since their enactments in 1955 and 1953, respectively. PSAECO represents the statewide associations of county commissioners, auditors, controllers, coroners, district attorneys, prothonotaries and clerks of courts, recorders of deeds, registers of wills and clerks of orphans' courts, sheriffs and treasurers.

The purpose of the revision, in addition to integration of the two codes, was to amend the combined code to reflect case law and current practices, standards and requirements, as well as update outdated or archaic language and make provisions of the codes consistent where practicable. The Revision Committee and Commission staff only included changes for which the stakeholders could reach consensus.

The Revision Committee and staff typically met every three months. In addition, a separate subcommittee on fiscal affairs of county commissioners, controllers, auditors and treasurers met bimonthly for over a year, and a subcommittee of the County Directors of Veterans Affairs convened a number of times as well. Appropriate state agencies were also consulted as part of the process. Finally, representatives of the statewide row officer associations that make up PSAECO, including relevant committees of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, reviewed the draft legislation and provided comments, which have been addressed and incorporated. In Fall 2017, the Local Government Commission unanimously voted to introduce the County Code revision legislation, which is Senate Bill 1005 of 2017. Following amendment of the bill in the Senate and the House of Representatives, SB 1005 was unanimously passed by both chambers and signed into law by the Governor as Act 154 of 2018 on October 24, 2018, effective on December 24, 2018.

Information on Act 154 of 2018 (SB 1005, PN 2026):

With the County Code revision bill having gone through the legislative process and being enacted, effective December 24, 2018, the County Code applies to second class A through eighth class counties and the Second Class County Code remains in effect for second class counties. As the next step, Commission staff looks to work with the Legislative Reference Bureau to place the County Code into Title 16 (Counties) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, which has occurred with the Borough Code (Title 8) and the Third Class City Code (Title 11).