PRINTER'S NO. 1301
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
991
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY SCHWANK, HUTCHINSON, J. WARD, DUSH AND KEARNEY,
DECEMBER 29, 2021
REFERRED TO STATE GOVERNMENT, DECEMBER 29, 2021
AN ACT
Amending Title 11 (Cities) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, further providing for preliminary provisions and
providing for city classification.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Part I heading of Title 11 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
PART I. PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
[(Reserved)]
Section 2. Part I of Title 11 is amended by adding chapters
to read:
CHAPTER 1
(Reserved)
CHAPTER 2
CITY CLASSIFICATION
Sec.
201. City classification.
202. Ascertainment, certification and effect of change of
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classification.
§ 201. City classification.
For the purposes of legislation and the regulation of a
city's affairs, current cities of this Commonwealth as well as
future cities shall be divided into four classes as follows:
(1) Cities of the first class, having a population of at
least 1,000,000 inhabitants.
(2) Cities of the second class, having a population of
at least 250,000 inhabitants but less than 1,000,000
inhabitants.
(3) Cities of the second class A, having a population of
at least 80,000 inhabitants but less than 250,000 inhabitants
on the date that the city adopts or amends a home rule
charter designating it as a city of the second class A.
(4) Cities of the third class, having a population of
less than 250,000 inhabitants other than cities of the second
class A.
§ 202. Ascertainment, certification and effect of change of
classification.
(a) Ascertainment.--The classification of cities shall be
ascertained and fixed according to population by reference to
the Federal decennial census under this section.
(b) Certification.--
(1) The Governor shall certify the following to the
governing body of a city on or before October 1 of the year
succeeding the year in which the last preceding Federal
decennial census was taken:
(i) a Federal decennial census shows that a city has
attained a population entitling the city to an advance in
classification; or
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(ii) the last two preceding Federal decennial
censuses show that a city has decreased in population so
as to recede in classification, as provided under this
section.
(2) The secretary of the city's governing body shall
forward the certificate, electronically or otherwise, under
paragraph (1) to the recorder of deeds. The certificate shall
be recorded in the recorder of deeds' office. A failure to
record the certificate under this paragraph shall not be
deemed a defect in procedure or affect any change in
classification as provided in this chapter.
(c) Intent.--It is recognized that a change in the
classification of local government is attended by certain
expense and hardship and the change should not be occasioned by
a temporary fluctuation in population. It is the intent of this
section that the classification of a city may not be changed
because its population has decreased at the time of one Federal
decennial census, but rather only after the change is
demonstrated by two Federal decennial censuses that the
population of a city has remained below the minimum figure of
the city's current classification class for at least a decade.
(d) Home rule or optional charter cities.--A city that has
adopted a home rule charter or optional charter may not advance
or recede in classification because of a change in population
unless the electors of the city adopt a revision to the existing
charter designating the change in classification.
(e) Change of classification.--
(1) A change of classification ascertained and certified
shall take effect on January 1 following the next municipal
election occurring not less than 180 days after the change
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was certified by the Governor.
(2) In the municipal election immediately preceding the
effective date of the change under paragraph (1), the proper
number of individuals shall be elected to fill an elective
office which will exist in the city by the change of
classification certified. An election may not be held for an
office which will be abolished as a result of a change of
classification.
Section 3. Repeals are as follows:
(1) The General Assembly declares that the repeal under
paragraph (2) is necessary to effectuate the addition of 11
Pa.C.S. Ch. 2.
(2) The act of June 25, 1895 (P.L.275, No.188), referred
to as the City Classification Law, is repealed.
Section 4. Except as otherwise provided in 11 Pa.C.S. Ch. 2,
all activities initiated under the act of June 25, 1895
(P.L.275, No.188), referred to as the City Classification Law,
shall continue and remain in full force and effect and may be
completed under 11 Pa.C.S. Ch. 2. Orders, regulations, rules and
decisions which were made under the City Classification Law and
which are in effect on the effective date of section 3(2) of
this act shall remain in full force and effect until revoked,
vacated or modified under 11 Pa.C.S. Ch. 2. Contracts,
obligations and collective bargaining agreements entered into
under the City Classification Law are not affected nor impaired
by the repeal of the City Classification Law.
Section 5. All classifications under the act of June 25,
1895 (P.L.275, No.188), referred to as the City Classification
Law, designated prior to the effective date of section 3(2) of
this act shall remain in effect until a certification is made by
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the Governor according to the provisions of 11 Pa.C.S. Ch. 2.
Section 6. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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