Goodman’s bill to help fight blight goes to the governor

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – A bill authored by state Rep. Neal P. Goodman that would aid the fight against blight across Schuylkill County and the rest of the state is a few pen strokes away from becoming law.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve Goodman’s H.B. 1437 and send it to Gov. Tom Wolf. The bill would reduce from 18 months to 12 months the time a purchaser of a building has to correct known code violations or demolish the structure.  

“Blight is one of the top concerns of municipal leaders from across my legislative district, and I want to give them every tool possible in their fight,” said Goodman, D-Schuylkill. “Blight can be like a cancer in a community, driving down the value of neighboring properties and serving as a haven for criminal activity.”

Goodman wrote his legislation after a local code enforcement official, who said 18 months is too long for someone who buys a property to fix known code violations, suggested it. It also is a product of the joint House and Senate Blight Taskforce.

This is the second piece of legislation Goodman authored that has won approval from the General Assembly this month.

His legislation that would ensure benefits veterans receive from Pennsylvania do not disqualify them from participating in the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program also is awaiting the governor’s signature. Goodman originally introduced his legislation as H.B. 1725. Later, he worked in a bipartisan manner to have it included in H.B. 683 with an amendment.