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06/17/2024 08:59 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: June 1, 2023 03:57 PM
From: Representative Joshua Siegel
To: All House members
Subject: Duration of State of Emergency for Third Class Cities
Declaring a disaster emergency allows a local government to activate the response and recovery aspects of its emergency management plan. While a declaration is in place, it has the flexibility to perform public work, enter into contracts, incur obligations, employ temporary workers, levy taxes, and appropriate and expend public funds without adhering to certain time-consuming procedures and formalities required by law. Due to an inconsistency in Pennsylvania law, however, some cities are given less time than others to utilize a local disaster emergency.
Specifically, state law caps local disaster emergency declarations for cities with less than 250,000 residents (known as third class cities) at five days but gives other cities seven days. Because of this inconsistency in law, third class cities are at a disadvantage when it comes to serving their residents during a local disaster emergency. To give these cities equal footing, I will be introducing legislation that would extend the amount of time a third class city can declare a local disaster emergency from five days to seven days.
Third class cities should be treated the same as other cities across Pennsylvania, especially during times of emergency. Please join me in alleviating confusion for these cities during the most challenging of times by sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1303