Notice

Urge Senators to Allow Local Officials to Conduct Business Via Telecommunications

March 26th, 2020

PSAB Action Alert:
Urge State Senators to Allow Local Officials to Conduct Business Via Telecommunications During an Emergency Declaration 
 
House Bill 1564, which passed the House on Wednesday, would allow municipalities to conduct business through telecommunications devices during a statewide emergency declaration. The bill requires all council members to hear and make comments on issues. It also provides that a physical quorum is not necessary for the duration of the emergency to conduct business provided the following criteria are met.

The municipality must notify a newspaper 24 hours in advance and allow for public participation to the maximum extent available by doing at least one of the following.
  • By live streaming the meeting.
  • By recording the meeting and posting it on the website within 24 hours of the meeting.
  • By making a copy of the minutes available within 48 hours of the meeting.
If the municipality takes any executive, legislative, or judicial action throughout the duration of the emergency, the municipality must adopt a resolution at the first meeting after the end of the emergency detailing any and all actions taken during the emergency.
 
The amendment also allows municipalities to delay the approval of any and all applications that fall under the Development Extension Permit Act for the duration of the emergency. The following provisions apply.
  • This shall only apply if the final approval day falls within the duration of the emergency.
  • Any permit that falls in this time period shall have its process tolled for the duration of the emergency.
  • The municipality shall notify all applicants in writing of the tolling.
  • The applicant shall have the option to request a meeting during the emergency, but it shall be at the discretion of the municipality to go forward with the meeting.
Act Now!
This bill is critical to local governments and PSAB has been advocating for it passage. We need you to call your senators today and ask them to pass HB 1564. You can find their contact information at www.legis.state.pa.us.
 
If you contact your senator, please let PSAB know.  Send an email to actnow@boroughs.org.
.   
Questions? Contact Ed Troxell, PSAB Director of Government Affairs, at etroxell@boroughs.org or Ron Grutza, PSAB Assistant Director of Government Affairs, at rgrutza@boroughs.org.