Findings in New Study Reveal Implications for the Commonwealth

The Pennsylvania Economy League will release a compelling new report on the financial health of municipalities across the state at a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at the Capitol Building Media Center, Harrisburg. “Communities in Crisis: The Truth and Consequences of Municipal Fiscal Distress in Pennsylvania, 1970 to 2014” looks at the financial condition of 2,388 municipalities across the state.

The report answers questions like: which municipalities and regions are most distressed? Which municipalities and regions are the healthiest? What is the condition of municipalities that have been in the state’s Act 47 distress program for years and what will happen to them under the new Act 47 exit requirements? Why is Pennsylvania’s system of local government broken and what is the state’s role in fixing it?

PEL’s report was funded by a statewide coalition of eleven community foundations that are concerned about the plight of Act 47 municipalities specifically and of fiscally challenged communities in general. The report, which will also be available at and the websites of the report’s funders following the press conference, is designed to spark conversation on the situation and spur state reform.

Pepper Hamilton LLP is a long-time supporter of the PEL and Pepper partner Gregory J. Nowak was elected Chairman and President of the state-wide umbrella organization eight years ago. Mr. Nowak will introduce the report at the press conference.

Funders include: Berks County Community Foundation, Central Pennsylvania Community Foundation, Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, Lancaster County Community Foundation, The Luzerne Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, The Clarence G. Koepke Memorial Fund and Paul F. Johns Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Scranton Area Community Foundation and York County Community Foundation.

For over 80 years, PEL has provided fact-based insight to inform government officials, business leaders and the general community on key public policy issues and serve as a catalyst for change. PEL is a nonprofit, non-partisan statewide organization.