HARRISBURG, Pa. – Some local lawmakers say their goal is to move state municipalities from distress to success. State Senator Rob Teplitz along with the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held a roundtable discussion in Harrisburg. The meeting focused on financial challenges communities are facing all across the state, and finding solutions to those issues.
Since 1987, 29 municipalities, including Harrisburg, have been declared financially distressed under the state’s Act 47. The act provides loan and grant money to local government in need as well as technical assistance for financial recovery plans. So far, 11 municipalities had the designation lifted, but many have been on the list for years.
Lawmakers stressed this is a statewide issue.
“This hearing today is not specifically about Harrisburg,” Senator Teplitz said. “Harrisburg is a model for both problems that this municipality can get into and also for how do we overcome that?”
Several bill proposals have been introduced to try to help those financial distressed municipalities.
Other municipalities considered to be financially distressed include Scranton and Pittsburgh.
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse and City Council President Wanda Williams also participated in the discussion.