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Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Chester County Convention March.

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Presentation on theme: "Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Chester County Convention March."— Presentation transcript:

1 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Chester County Convention March 2015

2 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors PSATS: Your Member Service Organization

3 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Programs and services to strengthen local government Legislative advocacy for members: federal and state levels Preservation of local democracy and the government closest to the people. PSATS’ Mission

4 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors PSATS’ Member Services Lobbying Information Resource Phone/Email Website Email Discussion Group Communications PSATS News Bulletin Township Video News Social Media Awards Programs News Releases

5 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors PSATS’ Member Services  Pennsylvania Township News  CDL Drug & Alcohol Testing Program 1-800-235-7579  Township Solicitors Association  Township Engineers Association  Training  New Laws Service  Legal Defense Partnership  PSATS Associate Membership  Township Emergency Management Association  Township Planning Association 5

6 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors PSATS’ Sponsored Services 6  PSATS Trustees Insurance  Medical / Dental Coverage  PPO & HSA Plans  Vision Coverage  Unemployment Compensation  Disability Insurance  Life Insurance  Pension Plans (457 Plans)  1-800-382-1268  www.psatsinsurance.org  OnDemand Energy  Free program  Call Cheryl Hefft at (717) 575-4807  PLGIT  30 years of solid growth  Open an account for Act 13 impact fee revenues!  1-800-572-1472  www.PLGIT.com

7 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Spotlight: New! PSATS Portal  New online tool allows PSATS members to manage and view their contact information and transactions online.  The portal is a secure online database that stores members’ information in one convenient location.  Replaces the former usernames and passwords for access to the Members Only portion of our website.  Having an account using a unique email address is the key to making sure you can take advantage of all the member benefits PSATS has to offer.

8 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Spotlight: New! PSATS Portal

9 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Spotlight: New! PSATS Portal How to create an account:  1) Go to www.psats.org and choose the box for the “PSATS Portal Login” on the home page.  2) Click “create user account”.  3) Enter your name, email, and zip code. Please set up your member portal account, with a unique email for each person, today! If you have any questions, please call PSATS at (717) 763-0930.

10 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Network membership is open to all PSATS members For township officials interested in legislative efforts. Membership is free. Includes an electronic newsletter, The Week in Review, published weekly when the General Assembly is in session and periodically when not. Newsletter includes bill summaries, updates on important issues taking place in Harrisburg, and more! When critical legislative issues are in play, we will ask you to contact your legislators, usually just a few times a year. Spotlight: Grassroots Lobbying Network

11 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors To join the Grassroots Network, email grassroots@psats.org or call (717) 763-0930. Make sure the voice of townships is heard in Harrisburg. Join the network today! Spotlight: Grassroots Lobbying Network

12 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors PSATS Municipal Government Academy  Educate current and future leaders and promote excellence in local government at elected and staff levels.  Earn credits towards certifications by attending workshops, webinars, and even PSATS’ Annual Conference.  Tracks include planning, general township administration (finance and personnel), public works, and public safety.  Leadership development and communications to be at core of all sessions.  Log onto www.psats.org and choose “Training” or call (717) 763-0930!

13 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Spotlight: Training Opportunities –Flagger Training – March 18 in Chester County –How to Prepare a Robust Emergency Communication System – WEBINAR on March 25 –How to Create a Vibrant Business Improvement District in Your Township – WEBINAR on April 2 –Unlocking Property Values Through Tackling Blight (LGTP) – WEBINAR on April 8 –Traffic Signs (LTAP) – April 16 in Chester County –Principles of Paving (LTAP) – April 22 in Chester County –To register for any of these workshops or webinars, log onto www.psats.org and choose “Training” or call (717) 763-0930. –

14 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Spotlight: Training Opportunities –PSATS Conference Training Opportunities on April 18: –PMGA Planning Primary Course –PMGA Public Safety Primary Course –PMGA Public Works Primary Course –PMGA Administration Primary Course –Tips & Tricks for Quickbooks –Grantwriting: Keys to Success

15 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors PSATS’ 93 rd Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show –April 19-22, 2015, at the Hershey Lodge. –New online lodging reservation system for 2015 will provide benefits for you: Immediate confirmations, can change reservation details at any time, and $100 room deposit has been eliminated.

16 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

17 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts

18 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts Recreation Fees: Act 135 of 2014 –Amends the MPC to allow recreation fees in lieu of the dedication of land for park or recreation facilities to be used for the acquisition, operation, and maintenance of park or recreational facilities consistent with the recreation plan. –Requires the funds to be returned if used for any other purpose. –Addresses a standing PSATS resolution. –Effective date: November 23, 2014.

19 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts Scrap Metal Theft: Act 79 of 2014 –Requires scrap processors and recycling facilities to register with the State Police. –Requires receipts for cash purchases of scrap materials from commercial accounts and authorizes the impoundment of vehicles used to steal scrap materials. –Effective date: August 25, 2014.

20 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts Elected Tax Collector: Act 164 of 2014 –Requires a criminal history check for anyone running for tax collector. –Makes the basic and continuing tax collector education program mandatory and requires DCED certification that a tax collector is qualified before they may take the oath of office. –Current tax collectors “grandfathered” for basic tax collector course, but must take continuing education. –Requires the appointment of a deputy tax collector (this provision took effect October 22, 2014). –Effective date: October 22, 2015.

21 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts State Disaster Assistance Program: Act 187 of 2014 –Establishes a state disaster assistance program to help local governments repair or replace public facilities, such as roads, bridges, and sewer and water systems, that are damaged a small-scale disaster and there is no Presidential disaster declaration. –Provides grants to pay for part of the repair or replacement costs not covered by insurance when the damage exceeds the local government’s financial capabilities. –Effective date: October 27, 2014.

22 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts NEVs & Pedacycles: Acts 177 & 154 of 2014 –Amends the Vehicle Code to authorize neighborhood electric vehicles to operate on certain roads if registered, titled, covered by liability insurance, and the NEV has certain equipment. –NEVs are four-wheeled vehicles that operate at speeds of 20-25 mph. –NEVs are permitted on all local roads with speed limits of 25 mph or less. –Municipalities may permit on local roads up to 35 mph. –Operation prohibited from sunset to sunrise.

23 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts NEVs & Pedacycles: Acts 177 & 154 of 2014 –Defines “pedacycle with electric-assist” as a vehicle that weighs less than 100 pounds, has pedals and an electric motor of 750 watts or less, and is capable of 20 mph or less on a level surface. –Only authorizes persons 16 and older to operate pedacycles. –Effective date: NEV provisions take effect May 1, 2015. Pedacycle provisions take effect December 21, 2014.

24 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts Illegal Firearm Ordinances/Scrap Metal: Act 192 of 2014 –Clarifies that municipalities are strictly prohibited from regulating firearms and ammunition. –Provides a method for those affected by an unlawful ordinance or regulation to seek relief and damages, including attorney fees, expert witness costs, and loss of income. –Court shall award reasonable expenses even if the challenged ordinance is repealed or amended after suit is filed under this section, but before the final determination is made.

25 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts Illegal Firearm Ordinances/Scrap Metal: Act 192 of 2014 –Grants standing to bring a suit to a resident of the Commonwealth who may legally possess a firearm, any person who would otherwise have standing, and any membership organization in which such person is a member. –Establishes the criminal offense of theft of secondary metal. –Effective date: January 5, 2015.

26 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Acts Illegal Firearm Ordinances/Scrap Metal: Act 192 of 2014 –Since Act 192 took effect, a number of municipalities with firearms-related ordinances have been approached by groups asking for the repeal of certain provisions and threatening litigation. –Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster have filed suit in Commonwealth court to have the law overturned and are claiming that the legislation was passed improperly.

27 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Requirement for Mowing Operations –PennDOT Publication 213 was updated effective July 1, 2014 bring it into compliance with the federal MUTCD. –New requirement: mowing operations are required to have a shadow vehicle. –Mowing operations on roads with fewer than 10,000 vehicles per day where the equipment is completely off the road continue to be exempt from this requirement under Title 67 of the PA Code, Chapter 212.402.

28 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors New Requirement for Mowing Operations –PennDOT has clarified that: – a mower not operating may encroach onto the roadway without a shadow vehicle to navigate around abutments, bridges, guiderails, etc. –a shadow vehicle is not required if mowing on or beyond the shoulder if the mower is outside of the white line.

29 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Spring Legislative Session

30 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Right-To-Know Law Reform: HR 21 –Would direct the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to review the fiscal impact of the Right-to- Know Law implementation on agencies and local government agencies. –Status: Before the House State Government Committee.

31 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Right-To-Know Law Reform: SB 411 –Would authorize additional fees for commercial requests (including staff time); –Would limit the records that may be requested by inmates; –Would protect bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and similar information from disclosure and clarify that certain tax forms (such as W-2s) are not public; and –Would reduce prepayment threshold from $100 to $50. –Status: Before the Senate State Government Committee.

32 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Arbitration Reform: SB 211 –Would amend Act 111 to create a more level playing field for public employers and employees by: –Requiring both parties to equally share the responsibility of paying all costs of the third arbitrator –Neutral arbitrator picked from 7 members of AAA –If possible, one from political subdivision –Coin toss determines who picks first –Requiring the board of arbitration to consider a municipality’s ability to pay before making any arbitration award –Hearings would be open to the public

33 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Arbitration Reform: SB 211 –Providing that the arbitration awards not be binding if the board of arbitration exceeded its powers, the proceedings were irregular, the determination requires an unconstitutional act, or would result in the deprivation of a constitutional right –Prohibiting the granting of postretirement health or pension benefits –Action: PSATS testified in support of prior legislation in June 2014. –Status: Before the Senate Local Government Committee.

34 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Pension Reform: –PSATS is urging lawmakers to focus their efforts on resolving the state pension crisis before proposing changes to the largely healthy and better funded municipal pension systems. –PSATS believes that the General Assembly must address the problem of mandated municipal employee benefits in order to bring relief to distressed municipal pension plans. –Focus of discussions is on municipal police pension plans.

35 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Expand Advertising Options: –PSATS is urging lawmakers to give local governments the option to place legal ads on website or in mass- circulation, community newspapers. –Need additional options to reach a wider audience and reduce advertising costs by spurring competition. –Some papers have reduced to less than daily production, making it more difficult to advertise –Status: Legislation is expected to be introduced in 2015. –Action: PSATS testified in support in June 2014.

36 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Prevailing Wage –HB 63: Would increase the threshold from $25,000 to $190,000, with an annual adjustment based on Consumer Price Index. –SB 149: Would increase the threshold from $25,000 to $180,000. –SB 350: Would increase the threshold from $25,000 to $200,000. –Status: HB 63 is before the House Labor & Industry Committee and the Senate Bills are before the Senate Labor & Industry Committee.

37 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Prevailing Wage –SB 351: Would address the Youngwood case by excluding the following “maintenance work” on roads, highways, and bridges from compliance with the act: the replacement of guide rails, curbs, pipes, and line painting; pavement overlays up to 3 ½ inches (including milling and shoulder work), road widening that does not result in additional lanes or shoulders, and bridge cleaning, resurfacing and minor nonstructural repairs. –Status: Before the Senate Labor & Industry Committee.

38 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Radar for Local Police: –HB 71 & SB 535: Would authorize local police officers to use radar to enforce speed limits. –SB 559: Would authorize full-time local police officers in a full-service departments in first, second, second A, and third class counties to use radar to enforce speed limits. –Status: Before the House Transportation Committee.

39 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues 2015-2016 Budget Proposal –Gov. Tom Wolf released his proposed 2015-2016 state budget on March 3. –PSATS held a free recorded members-only webinar on the proposal and how it will impact townships –Go to www.psats.org and choose “Members Only Training.” You will need to log on to access the webinar.

40 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues 2015-2016 Budget Proposal –$33.9 billion proposal –Increases spending by 16 percent –Would increase sales tax to 6.6 percent and personal income tax to 3.7 percent –$4.7 billion in new revenue –To be used for reduction of school property taxes

41 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues 2015-2016 Budget Proposal –Natural Gas Severance Tax proposal targeted to fund education –Estimated $1 billion for education from tax –Would not change the current impact fees allocation formula –Would freeze impact fee revenue at $225 million starting in 2016 –Governor and legislature are highly supportive of the local impact fee

42 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Purely Public Charity: SB 4 –Would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to establish the General Assembly as the exclusive entity to create uniform standards and qualifications for an institution to be a purely public charity. –PSATS has concerns that this change could make it more difficult for local governments to challenge the tax-exempt status of purely public charity. –Status: SB 4 has passed the Senate and is before the House. Identical legislation passed the General Assembly in 2013.

43 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Purely Public Charity: SB 4 –Note: amendments to the PA Constitution must pass the General Assembly in two consecutive legislative sessions and then be approved at the ballot as a referendum.

44 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Purely Public Charity: SR 28 & SB 446 –Would establish a Select Committee on Institutions of Purely Public Charity to collect input from stakeholders across the Commonwealth, review the impact of public charities on local government, and study the economic impact of purely public charities. –Committee would hold hearings and determine whether legislation is required to achieve the appropriate balance between the cost of services provided by local governments and the protection of public charities. –Status: SR 28 has passed the Senate and is before the House Rules Committee; SB 446 is before the Senate Finance Committee.

45 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Uniform Construction Code: HB 93 –Would amend Sections 103 and 501(c)(1) of the Pennsylvania Construction Code to remove an outdated BOCA code reference and clarify that the state Department of Labor and Industry, by regulation, establishes the criteria for the UCC board of appeals. –Status: Has passed the House and is before the Senate Labor & Industry Committee.

46 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Uniform Construction Code: Third-party agencies: HB 734 –Would require municipalities that exclusively use third party agencies to enforce the UCC to appoint at least two such agencies. –Would be required to place legal advertisements for requests for proposal. –Contracts would be limited to two years. –Status: Before the House Local Government Committee. A public hearing is expected on the bill in the near future and PSATS is expected to testify.

47 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Liquor privatization: HB 466 –Would amend the Liquor Code to privatize the state liquor stores through the issuance of 1,200 wine and spirits retail licenses; grocery store licenses for the sale of wine; and creates a timetable for requiring the state stores to close. –Status: Before the House.

48 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Medical marijuana: SB 3 –Would legalize the medical use of marijuana for the treatment of certain conditions and provide for the licensing of growers, processors, and dispensers. –Licenses would be for a specific physical location –Growing of medical cannabis would be classified as a “normal farming operation” under the Right-to- Farm Law –Manufacturing, preparation, and production facilities would be required to meet the same zoning and land use requirements as other manufacturing, preparation, and production facilities

49 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Medical marijuana: SB 3 –Dispensing facilities would be required to meet the same zoning and land use requirements as other commercial facilities –Status: Before the Senate State Government Committee.

50 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Private Employer Leave: SB 333 –Would prohibit local governments from requiring private employers to provide an employee or class of employees with paid or unpaid leave that is not required by federal or state law. –Would not apply to a local government’s leave policies for its own employees. –Status: Before the Senate.

51 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Transit Revitalization: SB 385 –Would amend the Transit Revitalization Investment District Act to encourage private development at mass transit hubs by streamlining the process for creating a new TRID, establish guidelines for the use of TRID funding, and create a new “tax capture” funding mechanism. –Status: Before the Senate.

52 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Public Integrity Commission: SB 492 –Would replace the State Ethics Commission with the Public Integrity Commission and empower it to investigate allegations of public corruption. –Would rewrite portions of the current Ethics Act –Status: Before the Senate State Government Committee.

53 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Executive Sessions: HB 340 –Would amend the Sunshine Law to limit personnel issues that may be discussed in executive session and require the announcement of the name of the employee being discussed. –Would require executive sessions to be recorded and maintained for one year. –Would require the opinion of the solicitor before an executive session may be held. –Action: PSATS testified in opposition to this bill in March 2014. –Status: Before the House State Government Committee.

54 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Sunshine Law –Would amend the Sunshine Law to require local governments to place a legal advertisement at least 24 hours prior to every public meeting that must include detailed agenda information. –Would prohibit the board from discussing or taking official action on any item that is not listed in the advertisement. –Status: Legislation will be reintroduced in 2015.

55 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Conservation Easements: SB 556 –Would exempt the sale of conservation easements by a landowner to municipalities from the realty transfer tax –Status: Introduced.

56 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Legislative Issues Proposed Federal “Waters of the U.S.” Rule –If adopted, would broaden the definition of “waters of the U.S.” beyond “navigable waters” to include wetlands, ponds, detention basins, and even temporary waters created by heavy rain, such as ditches. –Could force townships to seek federal approval before cleaning drainage ditches. –PSATS strongly opposing, submitted comments. –See www.psats.org for more information.

57 Growing better and stronger with townships for more than 90 years. Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors Questions?


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