The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records issued an alert concerning anonymous Right to Know Law requests generated by an online service called FOIA Buddy after receiving reports from “numerous” agencies. 

On its website, FOIA Buddy describes itself as a “comprehensive resource” that simplifies the process of requesting public information from the agencies by which

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (Authority) recently announced the award of $204 million for 52 broadband development projects throughout Pennsylvania. The grants are funded through the United States Treasury (Treasury) under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which authorized the use of funds for broadband infrastructure projects targeted at unserved or underserved households

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the availability of billions of dollars in grant funds for infrastructure and transportation projects, including over $700 million allocated to the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program. This program offers funding for highway, bridge and tunnel projects that provide or increase access to agricultural, commercial, energy or transportation facilities

The Inflation Reduction Act, Public Law 117-168 (the “Act”), was signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 16, 2022, but the impact of some of its provisions is just beginning to be felt. Among those are the substantial federal subsidies the Act provides for state and local government investments in clean energy projects.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court recently issued a long-awaited opinion in a prevailing wage appeal brought by Ursinus College, captioned at Ursinus College v. Prevailing Wage Appeals Board, No. 828 C.D. 2021 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2022). The College was appealing a decision by the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Appeals Board (the “Board”) finding that the Pennsylvania

The American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) was enacted in March 2021 providing an unprecedented $1.9 trillion in direct relief to combat the effects Covid-19, whether it be negative economic impacts, public health implications, revenue loss, or identified needs in infrastructure.  Pennsylvania and its municipalities received approximately $14 billon in those federal ARPA funds!

ARPA funds come with certain new reporting requirements.  For municipalities, the first round of that new reporting (the “Project and Expenditure Report”) is due to the U.S. Treasury by April 30, 2022.  Every municipality that received ARPA funds must file this report (even if you haven’t spent anything yet).

Furthermore, and this is especially important,
Continue Reading ARPA Reporting due April 30, 2022!

In December 2017, former President Donald Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Among the many provisions of the Act was a provision that eliminated the tax exemption for municipal bonds that advance refunded another series of bonds. Prior to its passage, issuers had the ability to issue such bonds on a tax-exempt basis, and did so for a variety of reasons, including to achieve debt service savings. With the loss of tax-exempt status for advance refunding bonds issued after the passage of the Act, issuers and their advisors have searched for alternatives to the traditional tax-exempt advance refunding model.

In this article, we explore some of the alternatives that issuers have applied to achieve the same or similar benefits that would be achieved with a traditional tax-exempt advance refunding. First, we discuss the use of “forward delivery” bonds, where the bonds are sold, but not delivered to investors until a much later date in the future; second, we consider so-called “Cinderella” bonds, which are issued taxable but later convert to tax-exempt; and finally, “tenders and exchanges,” where issuers, often in conjunction with a current issuance, make an offer to investors to acquire their outstanding bonds, either for purchase or exchange.
Continue Reading Four Years On, Alternatives to Tax-Exempt Advance Refundings Continue to Proliferate in Municipal Bond Market

In its recent decision, Appeal of Best Homes DDJ, LLC, 239-40 C.D. 2020 (Dec. 23, 2021), the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court considered, among other issues, whether MS4 fees imposed by the City of Chester Stormwater Authority constituted an impermissible tax. The case involved a challenge by certain rate/fee-payers that the Authority’s “fees” were actually “taxes”

Timothy Horstmann, member of McNees Wallace & Nurick’s Public Finance and Government Services Group, will be discussing the importance of the archival and long-time preservation of electronic documents for Pennsylvania municipalities and townships in an upcoming webinar.

The panel of thought leaders will share tips for how to become PDF/A compliant at little to no cost, important because a Pennsylvania State Archives and Local Government Records Committee policy allows municipalities to maintain electronic records so long as specific requirements are met.
Continue Reading McNees Attorney Providing Key Tips, Resources for Townships’ Preservation of E-Documents