On November 7, 2019, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Acts 80, 81 and 82 of 2019, streamlining the process by which municipalities approve intergovernmental cooperation agreements, as well as making other changes to encourage the use of such agreements.

Act 80 amends the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law, 53 Pa. C.S. § 2301, to permit the use of a resolution instead of an ordinance to approve an intergovernmental cooperation agreement. An ordinance would still be required in the case of an intergovernmental cooperation agreement which provides for the creation of a council or consortium of governing bodies.

Act 80 also expands the scope of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Law by allowing municipalities to enter into cooperation agreements with municipal authorities. A municipal authority would not be permitted to enter into such an agreement unless the powers delegated to the authority pursuant to the agreement were authorized by the Authorities Act and the Authority’s articles of incorporation.

Acts 81 and 82 update the laws governing cities and second class townships to delete references to the required use of ordinances to approve intergovernmental cooperation agreements, consistent with the changes approved in Act 80.

The new Acts take effect in 60 days, and therefore municipalities will be able to begin taking advantage of the simpler approval process in early 2020.