New Ciresi legislation promotes cost-saving local government cooperation
Rep. Joseph Ciresi August 4, 2020 | 3:10 PM
HARRISBURG, Aug. 4 – State Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, introduced legislation today that would establish a new shared grant services program to help communities save money and reduce property taxes. School districts and municipalities would be able to apply for state funding to support locally driven cooperation initiatives that improve efficiency.
House Bill 2760, which has bipartisan support, would empower local governments, including school districts, to work together, Ciresi said, allowing more resources to be spent on providing services instead of on administrative costs and overhead.
“With strained budgets, local governments and school districts throughout Pennsylvania are looking for ways to provide necessary services without raising taxes,” Ciresi said. “We have a real opportunity to improve local government and reduce property taxes through back-office reform and shared services, allowing us to do more with less while keeping our local representation and community identity."
The program would be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development with funding appropriated by the state legislature. Grant money would be awarded for shared services like regionalization, shared capacity, boundary change, consolidation and personnel sharing.
The Joint State Government Commission highlighted this approach to encourage sharing resources and reducing costs, allowing local governments to benefit from economies of scale. Following the passage of Act 50 of 2020 earlier this year, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is also exploring shared services as a way of achieving cost savings and improving efficiency as part of its system redesign initiative.
More information about this bill is available by contacting Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265.