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04/20/2024 06:31 PM
Pennsylvania State Senate
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=S&SPick=20150&cosponId=15381
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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 1, 2014 10:39 AM
From: Senator Rob Teplitz
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation - Pennsylvania First Program
 
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation that will require the Department of Community and Economic Development (“DCED”) to institute policies and procedures to improve the administration of the Commonwealth’s Pennsylvania First Program f/k/a/ the Opportunity Grant Program. The proposed legislation will maximize each and every grant award and make the program more accountable to taxpayers.

One of the purposes of the Pennsylvania First program is to secure job-creating economic development opportunities through the preservation and expansion of existing industry and the attraction of economic development prospects to the Commonwealth. Under its administration of the program, DCED provides grants to eligible persons to encourage job-creating economic development within the Commonwealth. Pursuant to program guidelines, companies are required to invest $10 for every $1 received and DCED is authorized to require companies to return the entire grant, plus penalty and interest if the company fails to meet its job commitments set forth in the grant.

According to a 2007 Auditor General Report, DCED could maximize and account for every grant award by “focusing on better oversight and monitoring of the grant awards”. The proposed legislation incorporates many recommendations of this special performance audit. Specifically, under the proposed legislation, DCED will develop an objective evaluation process that requires consistent application of standards and procedures and documentation of success and failure statistics on a grant-by-grant basis. To verify the number of jobs created, DCED will independently verify a recipient’s job creation report, examine payroll records and Department of Labor and Industry employment data and conduct periodic unannounced project site visits. DCED will also detail the documentation required from a recipient seeking a waiver of penalties for failing to meet its job retention or creation requirements.

Additionally, the legislation will require grant recipients to provide monthly payroll records, annual progress reports and prompt notification of events that adversely affect the recipient’s work force, including any planned merger or consolidation.

Please join me in strengthening the Pennsylvania First program by making assistance more accountable to the taxpayers. Thank you for your consideration.



Introduced as SB152