HARRISBURG – While the city of Scranton struggles daily with cash-flow problems, key state lawmakers see any unveiling of comprehensive legislative proposals to help fiscally distressed cities as being months away.
A rollout of bills is anticipated early next year with the start of the new legislative session, said Sen. John Eichelberger, R-30, Hollidaysburg, chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee.
A bipartisan group in the Senate and House is working on a host of related issues, including an overhaul of the Act 47 program for fiscally distressed municipalities, municipal pension benefits, collective bargaining for public employees and the role of nonprofit institutions clustered in cities.
Since four legislative committees held joint hearings last fall on the future of Act 47, lawmakers involved in the effort to find solutions to the problems cities face with eroding tax bases and increased demand for services have emphasized its bipartisan nature.
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