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

McNees Public Finance attorneys Timothy J. Horstmann and Ryan T. Gonder will present “Preparing for an Audit of ARPA Expenditures: What to Do Now,” at the  Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors annual conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania, this April. Continue Reading McNees Public Finance Attorneys to Present on ARPA Expenditures

As colleges and universities develop and implement sustainability plans to reduce their carbon footprint, there remains the question as to how to fund these sustainability plans.  Some colleges and universities look to federal and state grants for a portion of this funding and some look to donors.  In addition to these options,  there is a new development in the debt market which could also lead to lower interest rates for issuers as a result of increased demand:  ESG bonds and Green bonds. Continue Reading Why ESG Bonds and Green Bonds May Help Colleges and Universities with Their Sustainability Plans

The United States Department of the Treasury recently published its Final Rule implementing the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).  The Final Rule adopts with amendments the Interim Final Rule published by Treasury on May 17, 2021. The Final Rule updates the rules governing the expenditure of funds received by public entities under the program. Continue Reading Treasury Issues Final Rule on Expenditure of State and Local Coronavirus Recovery Funds

Recognizing the importance of The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), our  colleague, Attorney Tim Horstmann, wrote the first article in this series titled “The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Here’s What to Expect” in April 2021 and in July 2021 Tim penned an article titled “ARPA Windfall: What May Pa. and Its Municipalities Do With This Money?” Adding to this series, we will now discuss what to expect in an ARPA audit.  This article will focus on Pennsylvania’s $13,450,275,500.40 portion of the $350B Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Program (CSLFRF), which is the specific program under ARPA that provides new funding to tribal governments, states, territories, and local governments across the United States to aid in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue Reading ARPA Audits– What to Expect and What You Can Advise Your Clients to Do Now

Public sector employers of all sizes have been asking whether they must comply with OSHA’s recent Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”).  The short in Pennsylvania is no – the ETS does not apply to state and local government employers in those states, such as Pennsylvania, that do not have State Plans (that is, an OSHA-approved plan by which a state assumes responsibility for occupational health and safety standards). Continue Reading PA State and Local Government Employers Escape OSHA’s Vax or Test Rule

On Friday, September 10, 2021, the House Ways and Means Committee released the text of a bill – known as the “Build Back Better Act” – that would restore the ability of state and local governments to issue tax-exempt “advance refunding” bonds, i.e., bonds issued more than 90 days before the redemption date of the bonds to be refunded. Continue Reading Tax-Exempt Advance Refundings Included in Proposed Build Back Better Act

On July 16, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (“PDE”) submitted its American Rescue Plan Act (“ARP”) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (“ESSER”) Plan to the United States Department of Education (“USDE”).  ARP ESSER is sometimes referred to as “ESSER III.”  Pennsylvania’s 78-page plan can be found here:  Pennsylvania ARP ESSER State Plan.  Less than a month later, on August 5, 2021, USDE approved Pennsylvania’s ARP ESSER Plan.

That plan approved nearly $5 billion in federal funding to flow to public school districts, including charters (referred to as a Local Education Agency (“LEA”)) across the Commonwealth.[1]  If you are curious as to what was allocated for your school district, that can be found at PDE’s website.  Although there is not a specific deadline to apply for ARP ESSER funds, PDE strongly encouraged LEAs to apply by September 1, 2021. Continue Reading The Pennsylvania School Board Director’s Quick-Guide to ARP ESSER/ESSER III Funding

With the effective date of recent amendments to Pennsylvania’s open meetings law, commonly known as the Sunshine Act, rapidly approaching on August 29, 2021, Pennsylvania public agencies, including but not limited to School Boards, Counties, Townships, Boroughs, Cities, and the Governing Bodies of community colleges, must be prepared to ensure they are in compliance with Act 65’s changes.

As background, on June 30, 2021, Governor Wolf signed into law as Act 65 of 2021 Senate Bill 554, which amends the Sunshine Act to mandate that a public agency’s agenda include all issues where a deliberation is expected, even if there is no anticipated vote on the issue. Furthermore, Act 65 requires that this agenda must be available to the public at least 24 hours prior to the public meeting, with few exceptions. Continue Reading Compliance with the Sunshine Act Amendments: What Pennsylvania Public Agencies Need to Know

A recent decision from the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Appeals Board (the “Board”), if affirmed, would have dramatic consequences for private, nonprofit colleges and universities that rely on bonds issued by public entities to finance their construction projects. The decision, In Re: Grievance filed by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local No. 98, Docket No. PWAB-1G-2018, was recently appealed to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.

In the case, the Board determined that the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act (the “Prevailing Wage Act”), applies to construction projects at Ursinus College (the “College”), a private, nonprofit college, because the projects were financed by bonds issued by the Montgomery County Higher Education and Health Authority (the “Authority”), a municipal authority and public instrumentality of the County of Montgomery organized under the Pennsylvania Municipality Authorities Act (the “Authorities Act”). Continue Reading Private College and University Construction Projects Financed by Bonds Are Subject to Prevailing Wage Act, Appeals Board Finds