The Senate today (June 7) unanimously approved legislation introduced by Senator Scott Hutchinson that requires coordinators and receivers appointed to assist financially distressed municipalities under Act 47 comply with state ethics statutes.
Senate Bill 479 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
“This bill was prepared in conjunction with the Local Government Commission, which was instrumental in the development of the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47) to assist distressed communities,” Senator Hutchinson said. “Senate Bill 479 clarifies the specific ethical compliance requirements for the appointees, recovery coordinators and receivers who work directly with the financially distressed municipalities on behalf of the Department of Community and Economic Development under the Act.”
Prohibited conduct would include, but is not limited to, conflicts of interest, nepotism and self-dealing in contracts. Additionally, financial compensation from the financially distressed municipality that is not explicitly authorized is prohibited, as well as is receiving any form of compensation or profit from the sale, lease or other financial transaction involving the distressed municipality or an authority under its control.
“A violation of any of these prohibitions would constitute grounds for termination,” Senator Hutchinson said.
There are currently 16 distressed municipalities under Act 47 in Pennsylvania:
- Braddock, Duquesne, and Rankin in Allegheny County
- Aliquippa, Beaver County
- Reading, Berks County
- Franklin and Johnstown in Cambria County
- Harrisburg, Dauphin County
- Chester and Colwyn in Delaware County
- Scranton, Lackawanna County
- New Castle, Lawrence County
- Hazelton, Luzerne County
- Greenville, Mercer County
- Shamokin, Northumberland County
- Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County
Contact: Justin Leventry firstname.lastname@example.org