|Posted:||February 3, 2015 12:05 PM|
|From:||Representative Joseph T. Hackett and Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Municipal Recycling Fees (Former HB 2266)|
It is our intent to reintroduce legislation from last session that will reverse a recent Commonwealth Court decision regarding municipal recycling programs.
In their ruling in the case of City of Reading v. Iezzi, the Court held that, because neither Act 101 nor the Solid Waste Management Act expressly grants municipalities the power to charge a fee for their recycling programs, these fees are invalid. However, there is nothing in Act 101 or the SWMA that expressly prohibits the collection of these fees. This is yet another example of judges feeling it is appropriate to legislate from the bench.
In response to this decision, we will reintroduce the attached legislation (HB 2266 from last session), which will explicitly grant municipalities who are subject to Act 101 recycling programs the power to charge residents a reasonable fee so that they can appropriately budget for these services annually. In addition, it will provide immunity to those municipalities that collected fees prior to the Reading decision from any civil action to reclaim these fees.
While there are several DEP grant opportunities to help municipalities fund their recycling programs, these are not dedicated funding streams and cannot be relied on when local governments are going through their annual budget process. Municipalities need something more dependable than potential DEP grant money when determining their operating budgets. Otherwise, Act 101 requirements to implement a recycling program amount to an unfunded mandate on our municipalities.
Cosponsors of HB 2266 last session were: D. COSTA, C. HARRIS, JAMES, MILLARD, MULLERY, MURT, ROZZI, SCHLOSSBERG and WATSON
Please don’t hesitate to contact our offices if you have any questions or concerns and we hope you will consider supporting this legislation.
Introduced as HB755