– Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) has been appointed to serve a second term as chairman of the House Local Government Committee during the 2015-16 legislative session.
“As a former township supervisor in Lower Gwynedd Township, I have firsthand experience with the challenges facing our local government leaders, most of whom are volunteers who work very hard on behalf of their communities and citizens,” Harper said. “I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue working with these dedicated men and women to make our boroughs, townships and municipalities – and the entire Commonwealth – the best they can be.”
The committee addressed a variety of issues in the 2013-14 session, passing 27 bills that ultimately became law. Among them are laws requiring a mandatory criminal history check for anyone looking to become an elected tax collector; authorizing new or existing municipal authorities to undertake storm water planning and management; allowing a portion of open space funding to be used to design, engineer and maintain acquired open space; giving communities more flexibility in how they use recreational impact fees; allowing for electronic filing of ordinances in first- and second-class townships; and consolidating the Borough Code into Title 8 of the PA Consolidated Statutes, the first of the state’s municipal codes to be consolidated. This makes it easier to update the law as needed.
Generally, the Local Government Committee reviews bills that would amend the municipal codes by which local governments operate. This could include legislation related to local government purchases, real estate assessment policies and statewide pensions for municipal police officers. Pennsylvania has more than 2,500 local government units of all sizes. The committee also works closely with the Local Government Commission, a bipartisan legislative service agency that provides research assistance on issues pertaining to local governments.
Prior to her appointment as chairman of the Local Government Committee last session, Harper served as chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee and the House Ethics Committee. She also previously served as a member of the Local Government Committee, as well as the Transportation, Environmental Resources and Energy, Judiciary and Urban Affairs committees. She has represented the 61st Legislative District in Montgomery County since 2000.
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Representative Kate Harper
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rep. Harper’s Blue Bell Office