PNA Urges Amendment to House Bill 1893

  • Jun 13, 2016

House Bill 1893 would allow municipalities to use a resolution, rather than an ordinance, to enact intergovernmental cooperation agreements. By moving from an ordinance to a resolution, there would be no prior public notice of such intergovernmental agreements. As described by its sponsors, the legislation is aimed at reducing costs for allowing intergovernmental agreements for sharing of small, cooperative arrangements, such as shared purchase of road salt.

 However, as written, HB 1893 would allow for major undertakings, such as the consolidation or elimination of police departments, the creation of regional planning commissions, regionalization of sewer or other services, and much more. These agreements can have dramatic, far-reaching impacts on communities, and must not be entered into lightly, or without public notice. PNA urges the adoption of amendments clarifying that resolutions contemplated in this legislation are not to be used for agreements with significant effects on their communities. For example, PNA supports language that would narrow the circumstances in which a resolution could be used.

             (b) Resolution – Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a local government may enter into intergovernmental cooperation with another governmental unit or local government upon the  passage of a resolution by its government body if the agreement

is limited to one or more of the following administrative purposes:

  1. A purchase agreement for equipment, supplies or other personal property.
  2. A service agreement for the purchase of professional or technical services.

Moreover, in addition to the limiting language above, PNA urges some required notice to community members and taxpayers who will be directly impacted by these resolutions. Announcement at a regularly-scheduled meeting is not sufficient. For example, “if a local government proposes to act by resolution under this section, notice of the resolution, including a brief description of its terms, shall be published once in one newspaper of general circulation not more than 30 days nor fewer than seven days prior to adoption.” 

Finally, PNA supports Rep. Schemel’s proposed amendment A07865, which requires that a council of governments, consortium or similar entity shall be created through ordinance.  The bill must also specify that any regionalization of services or employees, e.g., regionalization of police forces, may only be created by ordinance. 

 

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