Potter County is being actively represented at this year’s County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania’s (CCAP) annual conference, which winds up today in Hershey. During Tuesday’s lengthy business meeting, Potter County’s commissioners voted in favor of several planks which were adopted in the Pennsylvania County Platform. That is an official document that is used by CCAP’s registered lobbyists during strategic communications with state and federal lawmakers. CCAP has historically been influential in the formation of laws and policies affecting counties and their residents. A recent example is the passage of Act 13 by the Pa. General Assembly earlier this year, providing revenue for counties and municipalities through an impact fee imposed on shale gas production.
Among platform planks that were adopted on Tuesday with Potter County’s support were:
- a state grant and revolving loan fund to assist counties in maintaining uniformity and equity with real estate tax assessments and the reinstatement of the assessment of oil and gas interests as real property;
- an increase in the “in lieu of taxes” payments made by the state on state forest, game and park lands and a related measure to require counties and municipalities be given a share of timber sale revenue on state-owned land;
- a constitutional amendment requiring the state to fully fund any service provided by counties as the result of a state mandate;
- extension of PUC authority to enforce pipeline safety laws on Class 1 gathering lines often associated with shale gas development;
- legislation seeking uniform, statewide standards for water wells and the licensing of water well drillers;
- more flexibility in the use of state funding for human services programs counties are required to provide;
- statewide implementation of best practices for individuals with mental health or substance abuse disorders who are involved in the criminal justice system, such as diversion, specialty courts, intermediate housing, alternative housing and specialized treatment initiatives;
- legislation making available business incentives and lending opportunities for agriculture in a manner equal to other businesses;
- inclusion of a military veterans’ designation on Pennsylvania driver’s licenses.
Potter County Today is a timely information site courtesy of the Potter County Commissioners. Reprinted with Permission.