Legislative Updates

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December 2018 Update
The Government Affairs Council met with the government officials of West Whiteland Township for a Discussion of Growth and Development within the Township.
Members of the GAC , led by Chairman, Dave Farrington, and other member and non-member guests, met with West Whiteland Township Supervisors, Theresa Santalucia, Michele Moll, Beth Jones, and Township Manager Mimi Gleason in November to discuss proposed development in the Township.
  • If you think the King of Prussia Mall complex or the Great Valley area are going through a Renaissance with a variety of projects, look no further than the area in and around the Exton Square Mall. The Pennsylvania Real Estate Trust (PREIT) recently sold 4-acres at the Mall to Hanover Co. who plans to develop an apartment community with 342 units near Whole Foods where the K-Mart once stood on Rt. 100.
  • The Hankin Group is building Keva Flats Apartments on Rt. 30 just west of the Mall. It will have 240 units spread across five buildings. The Ashbridge Manor House in Exton at Main Street on Commerce Blvd will have two sites on both sides of the street. Together these are expected to add another 410 units.
  • The Jefferson Apartment Group has broken ground on Parkview at Oaklands (Creamery Lane off Rt. 30 west of the Mall). This is a 4-building, 291-unit apartment community on 23 acres of green space.
Dinniman Announces $4 Million for Conservation and Recreation Projects (including Exton Park)
State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that eleven conservation and recreations projects in his Chester County district will receive more than $4 million in total state grant funding through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (CCPP).
“Chester County’s rolling hills, pristine streams and recreational opportunities are some of the very reasons that make it such a great place to call home,” Dinniman said. “These grant funds will help us continue to build on our success in protecting our land, water, and environmental resources, while also increasing recreational opportunities for residents and families throughout the area.”
The Chester County Planning Commission Released the Executive Summary of Landscapes 3
This plan serves four primary purposes:
•Establishes a preservation and growth vision for the county and its municipalities
•Guides county government decision-making
•Guides local municipal planning and implementation
•Provides a framework for collaboration across municipal boundaries

June 18, 2018 Update

Wolf administration releases details of overtime rule proposal.
This week the Wolf administration released its proposal to implement changes to the Commonwealth’s overtime eligibility rules for employees. The proposal would dramatically change overtime eligibility rules imposed on Pennsylvania employers by requiring a wage threshold for exempt status that is more than double the current rate set by the federal government.
The proposed changes also include significant revisions to the “duties tests,” which are also used to determine overtime eligibility. Additionally, the rule establishes an automatic update to the salary threshold every three years beginning in 2023.
Employers have the opportunity to provide comment on new rules regarding overtime eligibility standards. Governor Wolf’s proposal is pending with the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, which will accept comments through July 23, after which it will proceed to final rulemaking. Employers are encouraged to email the commission at irrc@irrc.state.pa.us and offer their feedback on this policy. The IRRC is required to review all feedback and has previously taken action against a proposed rule based on the volume and nature of comments it receives.
PUC affirms part of judge’s oder to halts pipeline work in West Whiteland.
The June 14 vote by the Commission continues an injunction against construction of ME2 and ME2X in West Whiteland Township until lifted by the PUC, while authorizing the resumption of operations on the ME1 pipeline.
The action affirmed, in part, and reversed, in part, an interim emergency order issued in May.
PUC Chairman Brown stated, “While there is insufficient evidence to support a finding that ME1 is being operated unsafely in West Whiteland Township, I do find that there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that the construction on ME2 and ME2X should remain halted until Sunoco meets the requirements that will be imposed by this motion.”
Sunoco will have until July 5 to file the following information for PUC review:
  • Inspection and testing protocols.
  • Its comprehensive emergency response plan.
  • Current safety training curriculum for employees and contractors.

Mariner East 1 was shut down after sinkholes believed linked to Mariner East 2 construction caused several sinkholes in a West Whiteland neighborhood. Sunoco submitted new safety plans and was given the green light to resume production on the line about a month ago. Earlier this winter, the company paid a $12 million fine slapped on it by the state to settle a series of complaints linked to spills and other problems in construction of Mariner East 2.

More from the PUC…

Route 29 sinkhole project underway between North Atwater Drive/General Warren Boulevard and the PA Turnpike interchange
PennDOT has begun their next phase of construction, which includes reducing traffic lanes down to one lane in each direction. This phase is scheduled to be completed in early July. Immediately after this phase traffic will shift to two travel lanes northbound and one travel lane southbound. This second phase of construction is scheduled to be completed in early August. (View pictures of phases below)

July 2018 – Stage 2 construction begins with excavating and rebuilding the southbound travel lanes while performing sinkhole remediation work and other geotechnical treatments. Two northbound lanes will be maintained while the southbound lane will be reduced to one.

August 31 – Traffic impact is scheduled to be completed.

More from the Transportation Management Association of Chester County…

Bipartisan bill would replace Pennsylvania’s property taxes with income tax hike
The proposed constitutional amendment was approved by voters in November 2017. Senate Bill 1137 will allow local taxing bodies to exclude from taxation 100 percent of the assessed value of owner-occupied homes in 2019. The bill is currently awaiting consideration by the Senate Finance Committee.