Dowling Good Government Bill Earns Committee Approval
1/27/2021
HARRISBURG – The House State Government Committee has approved Rep. Matthew Dowling’s (R-Fayette/Somerset) bill to ensure the state better meets the needs of the nearly 5,000 local government entities in the Commonwealth.

“Our local governments are on the ground floor of helping to manage our communities, educate our kids, protect public safety, and ensure the provision of infrastructure and other support services,” Dowling said. “The state can and should do a better job of supporting their efforts.”

House Bill 47 would merge different state agencies to create a new Department of Local Government and Community Affairs (DLGCA) to address local community needs and concerns. This department would be comprised of powers and authorities from the Department of State and the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and would be overseen by the secretary of the Commonwealth, which is a constitutional position.

The bill is part of a four-bill package that aims to establish BEST practices – Better Government, Economic Prosperity, Stronger and Healthier Communities for Taxpayers – in Harrisburg.

Together, the four bills would merge eight existing state agencies into four new state agencies. In addition to the DLGCA, other consolidated agencies that would be created include the Commonwealth Office of Management and Budget; the Department of Business, Tourism and Workforce Development; and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Each merger in the legislation would require the adoption of a strategic plan detailing how the agencies described in the legislation would be combined. To provide adequate time to prepare for the mergers, the legislation gives seven months following the effective date to develop the strategic plan. Each merger would have to deliver a 20% reduction in administrative costs; improve the delivery of government services to all residents; identify, consolidate and eliminate redundant programs; and improve the use of state funds to reduce the cost to taxpayers.

Representative Matthew Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Patricia Hippler
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