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PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 2809
PRINTER'S NO. 3714
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2004
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY ORTITAY, GROVE, RYAN, BARRAR, KAUFFMAN, JAMES,
KEEFER, MOUL, BERNSTINE AND GLEIM, OCTOBER 29, 2019
AS REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND
ENERGY, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS AMENDED, MAY 5, 2020
AN ACT
Amending the act of July 2, 1993 (P.L.359, No.50), entitled "An
act providing for the establishment, operation and
administration of the Keystone Recreation, Park and
Conservation Fund; designating a portion of the State Realty
transfer tax revenues as a funding source for the fund;
authorizing the incurring of indebtedness, with the approval
of the electorate, to provide funding for the acquisition of,
improvements to and the rehabilitation of parks, recreational
facilities, educational facilities, historic sites, zoos and
public libraries; imposing additional powers and duties on
the Department of Environmental Resources, the Department of
Community Affairs, the Department of Education, the
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the State
System of Higher Education, the Pennsylvania Game Commission
and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission; requiring a
transfer from the Realty Transfer Tax Account in the General
Fund; and making an appropriation," further providing for
definitions, for Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation
Fund, for duties, responsibilities and limitations on
agencies, for allocation from fund and for waivers; and
making related repeals.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definitions of "agency," "educational
facility" and "historical preservation organization" in section
3 of the act of July 2, 1993 (P.L.359, No.50), known as the
Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund Act, are amended
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to read:
SECTION 1. THE DEFINITIONS OF "AGENCY" AND "EDUCATIONAL
FACILITY" IN SECTION 3 OF THE ACT OF JULY 2, 1993 (P.L.359,
NO.50), KNOWN AS THE KEYSTONE RECREATION, PARK AND CONSERVATION
FUND ACT, ARE AMENDED TO READ:
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Agency." The Department of [Environmental Resources, the
Department of Community Affairs] Conservation and Natural
Resources, the Department of Education, the Pennsylvania
Historical and Museum Commission[,] and the State System of
Higher Education[, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and
the Pennsylvania Game Commission of the Commonwealth].
* * *
["Educational facility." A facility owned by the State
System of Higher Education.]
* * *
["Historic preservation organization." A nonprofit
organization dedicated to the research, restoration,
rehabilitation and other activities furthering the protection,
enhancement, preservation or enjoyment of historic resources
which is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. ยง 501(c)(3)),
registered with the Bureau of Charitable Organizations and has
been in existence for at least five consecutive years.]
* * *
Section 2. Sections 4 and 8 of the act are amended to read:
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Section 4. Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.
(a) Establishment.--There is hereby established in the State
Treasury a [restricted receipt account] special fund to be known
as the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund [to
provide moneys necessary to implement the provisions of this
act].
(b) Source of funds.--[All proceeds from the sale of bonds
or notes as approved under section 5 and the monthly transfer of
a portion of the State Realty Transfer Tax shall provide the
necessary moneys for the fund.] The following shall be deposited
in the fund:
(1) The amount transferred under section 1106-C(d) of
the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the Tax
Reform Code of 1971.
(2) Amounts appropriated or transferred to the fund.
(c) Appropriations.--[All moneys in the fund are hereby
appropriated on a continuing nonlapsing basis to the designated
agencies in the amounts set forth in section 12. No funds shall
be expended by any agency without authorization by the
Governor.] Money in the fund may be used only for the purposes
provided under section 8, upon appropriation by the General
Assembly.
(d) Interest.--All interest earned by the fund and all
refunds or repayments shall be credited to the fund [and are
hereby appropriated to the appropriate agencies in the same
percentage as specified in section 12].
Section 8. Duties, responsibilities and limitations on
agencies.
(a) General rule.--Each agency shall promulgate rules and
regulations that are necessary to carry out the purposes of this
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act consistent with the criteria set forth in this act.
(b) Department of [Environmental] Conservation and Natural
Resources.--
[(1) The Department of Environmental Resources shall
utilize bond revenues for the following purposes:
(i) Rehabilitating, repairing and developing State
park and forest facilities deemed by the department to be
critical for visitor safety, environmental protection or
essential for facility operation. Not less than 70% of
the bond revenues will be used for these purposes.
(ii) Acquiring recreation areas and natural areas
which in the opinion of the department face imminent loss
or damage. Up to 30% of the bond revenues may be used for
this purpose.]
(2) [The department shall expend Realty Transfer Tax
revenues appropriated from the Keystone Fund] Amounts
appropriated to the Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources from the fund for parks and forest facility
rehabilitation may only be used for the following purposes:
(i) Rehabilitating and upgrading State park and
forest facilities.
(ii) Implementing the act of December 18, 1990
(P.L.748, No.188), known as the Rails to Trails Act[. Up
to 10% of the moneys can be provided as], including 50/50
matching grants to municipalities and appropriate
organizations for planning, acquisition and development
of rails to trails.
(iii) Making 50/50 matching grants to municipalities
and appropriate organizations for the purpose of rivers
protection and conservation. [Up to 10% of the moneys can
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be used for this purpose.]
(iv) Acquiring lands important to maintaining the
integrity of existing State parks and forests.
(c) Department of [Community Affairs] Conservation and
Natural Resources.--
(1) [The Department of Community Affairs shall] Amounts
appropriated to the Department of Conservation and Natural
Resources from the fund for grants for local recreation shall
be used to provide grants [of bond revenues and realty
transfer tax revenues] to municipalities for the following
purposes:
(i) To fund up to 50% of the eligible project costs
for rehabilitation and development of outdoor and indoor
recreation and park facilities and areas.
(ii) To pay up to 50% of the eligible project costs
for acquisition of recreation and park lands, greenways
and natural areas.
(iii) To pay up to 100% of the eligible project
costs for planning projects and special technical
assistance initiatives deemed appropriate by the
department.
(iv) To provide municipalities with a population of
5,000 or less with up to 100% funding for eligible
material costs and professional fees. Grants are limited
to a maximum of $20,000 for rehabilitation and
development of basic outdoor recreation and park
facilities and renovation of minor indoor recreation
facilities.
(2) [The Department of Community Affairs shall provide
grants of bond revenues and realty transfer tax revenues]
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Amounts appropriated to the Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources from the fund for grants for land trusts
shall be used to provide grants to land trusts to pay up to
50% of eligible project costs for natural areas and open
space planning and acquisition. Any land acquired under this
paragraph shall be open to those public uses that are
consistent with the purposes for which the land was acquired.
Temporary limitation of public access for the purpose of
protecting or restoring the natural resources of an area
shall not be considered a violation of this paragraph. The
Department of [Community Affairs, in consultation with the
Department of Environmental Resources,] Conservation and
Natural Resources shall adopt project selection criteria that
give priority to acquisitions of critical habitat for rare,
threatened or endangered plant or animal species or
communities which are at risk of destruction or substantial
degradation.
[(3) The Department of Community Affairs shall provide
grants of bond revenues and realty transfer tax revenues to
municipalities and appropriate organizations to pay up to 50%
of the eligible project costs for rehabilitation and
development of zoos.]
(d) Department of Education.--[The Department of Education
shall provide grants from bond revenues and realty transfer tax
revenues] Amounts appropriated to the Department of Education
from the fund for local libraries rehabilitation and development
shall be used to provide grants to municipalities to pay up to
50% of eligible project costs for planning, acquisition,
development and rehabilitation of public libraries.
(e) Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.--[The
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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission shall utilize bond
revenues and realty transfer tax revenues] Amounts appropriated
to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for
historic site development from the fund shall be used for
planning, acquisition, development and rehabilitation of
Commonwealth-owned historic sites and museums and to provide
grants to nonprofit organizations and public agencies for the
planning, acquisition and rehabilitation of publicly accessible
historic sites listed in or eligible for the National Register
of Historic Places.
(f) State System of Higher Education.--[The State System of
Higher Education shall utilize realty transfer tax revenues]
Amounts appropriated to the State System of Higher Education
from the fund shall be used for deferred maintenance of
facilities owned by the State System of Higher Education.
[(g) Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.--The
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission shall utilize bond
revenues for planning, acquisition, development and
rehabilitation of fishing and boating access areas, recreation
areas and natural areas and for technical assistance.
(h) Pennsylvania Game Commission.--The Pennsylvania Game
Commission shall utilize bond revenues for planning,
acquisition, development and rehabilitation of game lands,
recreation areas and natural areas and for technical
assistance.]
(i) Administrative expense limitation.--Administrative
expenses for agencies administering these programs shall be
limited to 5% of the funding [received by] appropriated to the
agency for these programs.
(j) Land trust restrictions.--Any moneys received by land
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trusts under the provisions of this act shall be expended only
for the planning of and acquisition of natural areas.
Section 3. Sections 12 and 13 of the act are repealed:
[Section 12. Allocation from fund.
(a) Allocation of bond revenues.--In the event that bonds
are sold under the provisions of this act, the bond proceeds are
to be allocated as follows:
(1) Department of Environmental Resources. $17,000,000
(2) Department of Community Affairs:
(i) For grant programs................ 13,000,000
(ii) For land trusts.................. 3,000,000
(iii) For zoos........................ 3,500,000
(3) Department of Education............... 2,500,000
(4) Pennsylvania Historical and Museum
Commission..................................... 8,000,000
(5) Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. 1,500,000
(6) Pennsylvania Game Commission.......... 1,500,000
(b) Allocation of realty transfer tax revenues.--Realty
transfer tax revenues transferred to the fund shall be allocated
as follows:
(1) Department of Environmental Resources. 30%
(2) Department of Community Affairs:
(i) For general purposes.............. 25%
(ii) For land trusts.................. 10%
(3) Department of Education............... 4%
(4) Pennsylvania Historical and Museum
Commission..................................... 13%
(5) State System of Higher Education...... 18%
Section 13. Waivers.
(a) One-year exemption from review.--In order to facilitate
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the speedy implementation of this program, the agencies shall
have the power and authority to promulgate, adopt and use
guidelines which shall be published in the Pennsylvania
Bulletin. The guidelines shall not be subject to review pursuant
to section 205 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.769, No.240),
referred to as the Commonwealth Documents Law, sections 204(b)
and 301(10) of the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950, No.164),
known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, or the act of June 25,
1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the Regulatory Review Act, and
shall be effective for a period not to exceed one year from the
effective date of this act.
(b) Expiration of exemption.--After the expiration of the
one-year period, all guidelines shall expire and shall be
replaced by regulations which shall have been promulgated,
adopted and published as provided by law.]
Section 4. Repeals are as follows:
(1) The General Assembly declares that the repeals under
paragraph (2) are necessary to effectuate the amendment of
section 8(b) and (c) of the act.
(2) Sections 304(c) and 306(c) of the act of June 28,
1995 (P.L.89, No.18), known as the Conservation and Natural
Resources Act, are repealed to the extent that sections
304(c) and 306(c) of the Conservation and Natural Resources
Act relate to duties of agencies under the act.
(3) The General Assembly declares that the repeals under
paragraph (4) are necessary to effectuate the amendment of
sections 4 and 8 of the act and the repeal of section 12 of
the act.
(4) Section 319(a)(7) and (b)(1) of the Conservation and
Natural Resources Act are repealed.
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Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020, or
immediately, whichever is later.
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