PA cities struggle to fund state mandates

    A Republican lawmaker says cash-strapped Pennsylvania towns should not have to pay for state mandates they cant afford.

    A Republican lawmaker says cash-strapped Pennsylvania towns should not have to pay for state mandates they cant afford.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091028sdmandate.mp3]

    Berks County Republican Sam Rohrer says a majority of Pennsylvania’s cities are financially distressed right now partially due to the burden of needing to fund countless state mandates out of their own budgets.

    He’s introduced a bill that would allow counties, municipalities and school boards to opt out of following through on various requirements the General Assembly hands down.

    Rohrer notes this isn’t some sort of state version of nullification, pointing out the requirements would still go into effect just a few years later.

    Rohrer: This is not an elimination of any of the regulations or legislation that’s at mandate. And I think that’s a critical part. This is a suspension for a finite period of time. And it is motivated by the significant financial impact the local governments are getting.

    Local governments would be able to ignore the state mandates for up to five years under the legislation. Rohrer has been considering a run for governor, and says he’ll make up his mind in the next two weeks.

    He’d be an underdog in the Republican primary, going up against Attorney General Tom Corbett and Congressman Jim Gerlach.

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