First Class Township Code Recodification & Incorporation into Title 73 of PA.C.S.
The First Class Township Code recodification was introduced as House Bill 2073 in the 2019-2020 Legislative Session and was signed into law by the Governor on October 28, 2020 as Act 96. Act 96 is effective on December 28, 2020.
The First Class Township Code, enacted in 1931, had not undergone a comprehensive update since 1949. The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners (PSATC) in association with the Pennsylvania Municipal League requested the ongoing participation, technical advice and expertise of the Local Government Commission staff in a comprehensive revision of the code, based on the Commission's experience with the Second Class Township Code recodification in 1995, the Borough Code recodification in 2012, the Third Class City Code recodification in 2014, and the consolidation of the Second Class County Code into the County Code as it pertains to second class A counties in conjunction with the County Code recodification currently.
In March 2016, Commission staff began teaming with a PSATC working group to update the First Class Township Code. In addition to Commission staff, the working group consisted of township commissioners and managers from each of PSATC's three regions (central, west and east) as well as PSATC legal counsel and staff. The working group convened at least quarterly.
The purpose of the revision is to amend the First Class Township Code to modernize the language, reflect case law and current practices, provide clarifications and make consistent with provisions of other municipal codes. The working group only included changes in the draft for which the stakeholders reached consensus.
The Commission staff envisions working with the Legislative Reference Bureau to place the First Class Township Code into Title 73 (Townships) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, which has occurred with the Borough Code (Title 8) in 2014 and the Third Class City Code (Title 11) in 2015. The purpose of the initial omnibus amendment to the First Class Township Code with Act 96 of 2020 was to make all the changes transparent to the Members of the General Assembly. Those changes would not have been transparent had the omnibus amendment been part of a recodification of the First Class Township Code directly into Title 73.
Section-by Section Commentary