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Legislative Committee Update     

Update from the Legislative Committee Chair:
 
First, I hope all of you are well, and adjusting to working safely at home. I hope I am about to share news that will reduce your stress level, at least a little.
 
Over the past two weeks, members of the Chapter’s Legislative Committee worked quickly with staff of both the PA Senate and House Local Government Committees, as well as the PA Local Government Commission and our colleagues at the Pennsylvania Municipal League to advance important legislation to help local governments, and the development community, through the current crisis. We successfully drafted and advocated to include language in HB 1564 that would provide for the suspension or tolling of deadlines for municipal governing bodies and other boards to review and act on a wide variety of development applications during the time of the emergency declaration. The act also suspends the expiration dates of approved permits, much like the Permit Extension Act did during Governors Rendell and Corbett’s terms.
 
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania House passed HB 1564 by a vote of 198-0. Next it moves to the Senate where we are working on a minor amendment to clarify some of the House bill’s language to ensure that the bill covers all actions (not just approvals or denials), clarifies the application time-frames for the suspension, and ensures that curative amendments are covered by the protections in the act.
 
You can view the legislation here.
 
Thank you to all the committee members that worked, under duress, to make this happen quickly. Notably Denny Puko and Charlie Courtney. Should advocacy be needed, I will reach out to members individually. At this point, this legislation is expedited and we hope the Senate will return to session soon to advance it.
 
Regards, 
Ed LeClear, AICP
PA Chapter of APA, Legislative Committee Chair