Local Preemption In Pennsylvania

Preemption is the use of state law to nullify a municipal ordinance or authority. Sometime preemption can strengthen a statewide policy; however, a recent trend of preemption legislation in the Commonwealth, and across the nation, has been counterproductive to local decision making by preventing municipalities from carrying out essential duties, as well as meeting the core wants and needs of their community.

On a regular basis, preemption legislation is introduced by the General Assembly intending to take local decisions out of the hands of locally elected officials. Municipal authority to respond to and find solutions for the unique problems facing their communities must be preserved in order for municipalities to thoroughly protect the health, safety and welfare of their residents. The ability for local governments to make decisions and regulations when necessary should not be interfered with overarching state laws.

For these reasons, The League strongly opposes legislation that aims to preempt local government decision making.

Local Preemption Legislation: 2023/2024 Legislative Session

Please see a list of preemption legislation introduced this legislative session below.

Bill NumberBill Sponsor(s)Local Preemption
HB 889Rep. GroveA municipality may not in any manner regulate employer policies or practices or enforce any mandate regarding employer policies or practices.
HB 1182Rep. CauserThe Commonwealth and municipalities from adopting any policy to prohibit the sale, installation or use of certain appliances based on the type of energy the appliances use.
SB 143Sen. YawA municipality would be prohibited from adopting a policy that restricts, or has the effects of restricting or prohibiting: the connection or reconnection of a utility service based on the type or source of energy; the ability of an individual or entity within the municipality to use an authorized utility services provider; and municipal policy may not discriminate against a utility service provider based on the nature or source of the utility service provided to consumers.
SB 289Sen. MastrianoA municipality may not adopt a policy that prohibits the prohibition of the permanent removal of a public monument established with state funds, unless the removal of the monument is approved by the General Assembly. If a municipality does not enforce the prohibition, the municipality would forfeit any monies from the State Treasury including state grants. State funding would be reinstated only if a municipality agrees to enforce the bill.