Burns: New law adds economic development tools to municipal toolboxes

Burns-supported legislation will allow communities to create redevelopment authorities

HARRISBURG, July 15 – In his ongoing efforts to make sure Pennsylvania’s smaller communities have access to the same economic revitalization tools and opportunities as larger cities, state Rep. Frank Burns, D-Cambria, today said the governor has signed into law an important bill that he supported.

“This new law will allow our smaller communities – many of which I represent – to have access to one of the major economic and community redevelopment tools reserved for larger cities,” Burns said. “This will allow our townships and boroughs to attack blight, encourage redevelopment, and work with developers to bring industry and companies to our communities.”

The legislation – now Act 58 of 2020 – will eliminate an arbitrary size restriction that has permitted cities of all sizes to create redevelopment authorities while prohibiting towns and boroughs from doing so unless they had a population of 10,000 or more. The law goes into effect in 60 days, on Sept. 12.

Since taking office, Burns has worked tirelessly to bring jobs to Cambria County, whether that is leading efforts to bring a Keystone Opportunity Zone to the county; voting to create a $225 million loan and grant program for Pennsylvania businesses; or personally working to try to attract businesses to the region.

Just law week, Burns joined a bipartisan coalition to pass legislation that would prevent the governor from using executive powers to force Pennsylvanian into a potentially job-killing carbon tax scheme.

“If you’re going to compete in the ‘global economy’ then that means you need to hustle,” Burns said. “And whether I’m in Ebensburg, Cresson or Harrisburg, I’m always hustling to do my best for the people I represent -- the hard-working families of Cambria County.”