Khan leads a bipartisan group of state legislators to introduce infrastructure bill designed to help local governments update municipal facilities

HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Tarik Khan, D-Phila., led a bipartisan group of state representatives in announcing plans today to introduce legislation calling for a grant program to assist municipalities with making essential renovations to municipal facilities. 

Khan was inspired by his retired civil engineer father, Zia Khan, a municipal employee who spent his life building and renovating municipal buildings in Philadelphia.

“We have many well-loved buildings in our communities, like our libraries, rec centers, and police and fire stations. These buildings need some love back in return,” said Khan. “We believe our bipartisan bill is a win-win-win. A win for the community who get services in these buildings, a win for the workers who serve in these buildings, and a win for our labor community who will be repairing and renovating these buildings.”

Named the "Public Facilities Infrastructure Grant Program," this program would provide municipalities with funding to help maintain, repair, renovate and reconstruct municipal buildings and facilities, public libraries, and recreational facilities. The bill has prevailing wage protections for workers and will require at least a 50% match for each grant application. 

State Rep. Alec Ryncavage, R-Luzerne, who also is a co-prime sponsor of this legislation, said he feels strongly about the need to revitalize and revamp local communities whenever possible, which is why he was eager to sponsor this legislation. 

“I firmly believe that investing in the revitalization of our towns is important, and having the most up-to-date infrastructure is crucial for our communities and their services,” Ryncavage said. “That is why I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation so that our facilities can remain open, up to date, and continue to provide much-needed services to our neighbors.” 

Rep. Roni Green, D-Phila., agreed on the crucial need for this infrastructure program.

“We ask so much of local government officials across the state,” Green said. “They juggle many responsibilities, like they did so selflessly throughout the pandemic, and are key to keeping our local communities functioning.” Green added, “This bill would help alleviate the burden of fully shouldering the renovation and repair of every municipal building every time, help make them feel proud to work in these buildings, and provide critical assistance so our community can see these improvements.” 

“The most essential services are handled at the local level, from policing to road maintenance,” said state Rep. Eric Davanzo, R-Westmoreland. “A program like this can go a long way in helping our boroughs and townships perform the services their residents expect."

Khan expects this bipartisan legislation to be considered the House chamber in the near future.