HARRISBURG, Pa. — Legislation to tighten the rules around borrowing by Pennsylvania’s municipalities has the unanimous approval of state senators in an effort to avoid a repeat of its capital city’s near-bankruptcy.
Three bills passed unanimously Wednesday and were sent to the House. The House has a limited fall calendar in which to take up the bills before the two-year legislative session ends Nov. 30.
The bills stemmed from 2012 hearings following the state government’s unprecedented takeover of Harrisburg. The takeover lasted more than two years and was combined with hundreds of millions of dollars in deals designed to rescue Harrisburg’s finances from a sea of debt.
The bills’ provisions include limiting a municipality’s guarantee of borrowing by one of its authorities, broadening state oversight over municipal borrowing and requiring bonds to be secured.