1Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
2Consolidated Statutes, further providing for initiative of
3electors seeking consolidation or merger with new home rule

5The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
6hereby enacts as follows:

<-7Section 1. Section 735.1(e)(3), (g)(1) and (l)(6) and (7) of
8Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended
9and the section is amended by adding a paragraph to read:

<-10Section 1. Section 735.1(c), (d)(3), (e)(3), (g)(1) and (l)
11(6) and (7) of Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
12Statutes are amended and subsection (l) is amended by adding a
13paragraph to read:

14§ 735.1. Initiative of electors seeking consolidation or merger
15with new home rule charter.

16* * *

<-17(c) Contents.--A petition shall set forth:

18(1) The name of the municipality from which the signers
19of the petition were obtained.

1(2) The names of the municipalities proposed to be
2consolidated or merged.

3(2.1) An estimated cost of the study commission.

4(3) The number of persons to compose the commission.

5(4) The petition question which shall read as follows:

6Shall a Government Study Commission of (seven, nine
7or eleven) members be elected to study the issue of
8consolidation or merger of (municipalities to be
9consolidated or merged); to provide a recommendation
10on consolidation or merger; to consider the
11advisability of the adoption of a new home rule
12charter; and to draft a new home rule charter, if
13recommended in the report of the commission?

14(5) The petition shall also include the following

16Only municipalities voting in the affirmative on the
17question will be held responsible for the costs of
18the study commission.

19(d) Filing of petition and duty of election board.--

20* * *

21(3) At the next general, municipal or primary election
22occurring not less than the 13th Tuesday after the filing of
23the petition with the county board of elections, it shall
24cause the appropriate question and statement listed under 
25subsection (c)(4) and (5) to be submitted to the electors of
26each of the municipalities proposed to be consolidated or
27merged in the same manner as other questions are submitted
28under the act of June 3, 1937 (P.L.1333, No.320), known as
29the Pennsylvania Election Code.

30(e) Election of members of commission.--

1* * *

2(3) Each elector shall be instructed to vote on the
3question and, regardless of the manner of his vote on the
4question, to vote for the designated number of members of the
5commission who shall serve if the question is or has been
6determined in the affirmative by the majority of the whole of 
7those voting in all the municipalities impacted by the 
8consolidation or merger.

9* * *

10(g) Results of election.--

11(1) The result of the votes cast for and against the
12question as to the election of a commission and consolidation
13and merger proceedings shall be returned by the election
14officers, and a canvass of the election had, as is provided
15by law in the case of other public questions put to the
16electors. The votes cast for members of the commission shall
17be counted and the result returned by the county board of
18electors of the county in which the municipality, or the
19greater portion of its territory, is located, and a canvass
20of the election had, as is provided by law in the case of
21election of members of municipal councils or boards. If a 
22majority of the whole in the municipalities proposed to be 
23consolidated or merged vote in the affirmative on the 
24question, then the commission shall be formed to study the 
25issue of consolidation or merger and to make recommendations 
26as set forth in the question. The designated number of
27candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall be
28elected and shall constitute the commission. If a majority of
29[those] the whole in the municipalities voting on the
30question vote against the election of the commission, none of

1the candidates shall be elected. If two or more candidates
2for the last seat shall be equal in number of votes, they
3shall draw lots to determine which one shall be elected.

4* * *

5(l) Compensation, personnel and commission budget.--

6* * *

7(6) No later than 15 days after the submission of a
8budget in accordance with paragraphs (4) or (5), a joint
9public hearing of the commission and the governing bodies of
10the municipalities shall be held. The governing bodies of the
11municipalities to be consolidated or merged may, by
12agreement, modify any budget submitted by the commission. A
13governing body of a municipality to be consolidated or merged
14may approve appropriations to the commission in conformity
15with its share of the modified budget as determined in
16accordance with paragraph (7) or (7.1). Any unreasonable
17modification of the budget may be subject to an action as
18provided in paragraph (8) in the court of common pleas of any
19county wherein a municipality to be consolidated or merged

21(7) [The] If a majority in each of the municipalities to 
22be consolidated or merged vote in favor of establishing a 
23commission, the municipalities [to be consolidated or merged]
24may, by agreement, determine the share that each municipality
25shall appropriate to fund the estimated budget of the
26commission. If no agreement as to the respective amount that
27each municipality shall appropriate is reached, each
28municipality shall appropriate funds equal to its pro rata
29share of the total estimated budget of the commission based
30upon its share of population to the total population of the

1municipalities to be consolidated or merged.

2(7.1) When a commission is formed to study consolidation 
3or merger by a vote of the whole in the municipalities 
4considering the question, the municipalities that vote in the 
5affirmative shall be responsible for funding the budget of 
6the commission. Any municipalities that vote in the negative 
7on the question shall not be responsible for the budget costs 
8of the commission.

9* * *

10Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.