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PRINTER'S NO. 4067
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2652
Session of
2020
INTRODUCED BY MURT AND JAMES, JULY 1, 2020
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT, JULY 1, 2020
AN ACT
Amending Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in employees, providing for basic
education and continuing education programs for municipal
secretaries.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Chapter 21 of Title 53 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subchapter to read:
SUBCHAPTER F
BASIC AND CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAMS
FOR MUNICIPAL SECRETARIES
Sec.
2191. Short title of subchapter.
2192. Nonapplicability.
2193. Definitions.
2194. Basic and continuing education programs for municipal
secretaries.
2195. Construction.
§ 2191. Short title of subchapter.
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This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the
Municipal Secretary Education Act.
§ 2192. Nonapplicability.
This subchapter does not apply to cities of the first class,
second class or second class A.
§ 2193. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
" Association. " The Pennsylvania Local Governmental
Secretaries Association.
" Department. " The Department of Community and Economic
Development of the Commonwealth.
" IIMC. " The International Institute of Municipal Clerks.
" Municipal secretary. " Any of the following:
(1) The appointed municipal secretary of a borough,
incorporated town, township of the first class or township of
the second class, including any municipal corporation as
described in this paragraph which has adopted a home rule
charter or optional plan.
(2) The appointed city clerk in a city of the third
class, including any city of the third class which has
adopted a home rule charter, optional plan or optional
charter.
§ 2194. Basic and continuing education programs for municipal
secretaries.
(a) Establishment and implementation.--The department, in
consultation with the association, shall establish and implement
programs of basic training, examination and qualification of
municipal secretaries and of continuing education to be met by
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persons qualified as municipal secretaries as a condition for
renewal. The department may contract with a third party to
provide the basic training, examination, qualification and
continuing education.
(b) Contents of basic training program.--
(1) The basic training program shall include, but not be
limited to, the following courses:
(i) Structure and function of Pennsylvania local
government.
(ii) Municipal administration/personnel management.
(iii) Basic budgeting.
(iv) Accounting and financial control.
(v) Community development/municipal services.
(vi) Meeting management.
(vii) Bidding and contracting.
(viii) Records management.
(ix) Management theory and practice.
(x) Intergovernmental cooperation.
(xi) Public relations.
(xii) Working with emergency service organizations.
(xiii) Municipal minutes and records and the act of
February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-
Know Law.
(xiv) Public notice and advertising requirements and
65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 (relating to open meetings).
(xv) Other laws and recent court decisions affecting
the duties of municipal secretaries.
(xvi) Ethics.
(xvii) Computers and technology.
(2) As a prerequisite to taking the qualification
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examination, the individual shall complete the basic training
program authorized by the department.
(3) (i) An individual shall have the option to sit for
the qualification examination relating to the basic
education program.
(ii) No individual shall obtain qualification unless
that individual has passed the basic qualification
examination.
(iii) An individual who passes the basic
qualification examination shall be known as a qualified
municipal secretary.
(c) Duties of department.--The department shall:
(1) Make certain a qualified municipal secretary
certificate is issued to an individual who passes the basic
qualification examination. The certificate shall expire one
year from the date of issuance, but may be renewed.
(2) Maintain a register that lists all qualified
municipal secretaries. The register shall be open to public
inspection and copying upon payment of a nominal fee.
(3) Publish, once each year, a list of all qualified
municipal secretaries on the department's Internet website.
(4) Determine and approve reasonable fees for the
training program and for testing and qualification. The
municipal secretary shall be personally liable for the cost
of the program, testing and qualification unless the
governing body that appointed the municipal secretary agrees
to pay for the cost in whole or in part.
(d) Prohibition.--It shall be unlawful on or after the
effective date of this subchapter for any individual to hold
himself out as being qualified in training under this section
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unless the individual holds a current, valid certificate.
(e) Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be
construed to prevent any individual from participating in the
department's basic training program and obtaining qualification.
(f) Hours required.--Each qualified municipal secretary
shall be required to obtain eight hours of mandatory continuing
education during each year.
(g) Updates.--The department, in consultation with the
association, shall devise the continuing education program to
include, but not be limited to, updates for basic training
course topics and other contemporary issues.
(h) Notification of requirements.--The department shall
inform qualified municipal secretaries of the continuing
education requirement when it issues the certificates.
(i) Renewals.--Renewal of qualification shall be on an
annual basis upon completion of continuing education
requirements as provided in this subchapter. The municipal
secretary shall be personally liable for the cost of the program
and qualification unless the governing body that appointed the
municipal secretary agrees to pay for the cost in whole or in
part.
(j) Criteria for existing education.--The department, in
consultation with the association, shall adopt criteria to
provide municipal secretaries with existing education the right
to receive credit toward the Qualified Municipal Secretary
Program, including, but not limited to:
(1) Completion of the IIMC programs of Certified
Municipal Clerk designation or Advanced Academy for
Education.
(2) A bachelor of science degree in public
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administration or a bachelor of arts degree in political
science.
(3) IIMC certification programs for municipal
secretaries not currently holding the Certified Municipal
Clerk or Advanced Academy for Education designation.
§ 2195. Construction.
Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to require a
municipal secretary to become a qualified municipal secretary or
maintain that qualification, unless required by the municipal
governing body that appointed the secretary.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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