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Politics & Government

What Pittsburghers Need To Know About Act 47

Illustration courtesy of Pittsburgh City Paper

What is Act 47?

Act 47 is a state oversight program for “financially distressed” cities in Pennsylvania. The state tries to help cities turn around their finances and operations. The name comes from the Municipalities Financial Recovery Act (Act 47 of 1987).

What’s the history of Act 47?

Pittsburgh has been “financially distressed” for 10 years. The plan that the mayor and city council are currently considering will guide the city from 2014 through 2018.
Who prepares the five-year plan on the state's behalf?

The two state supervisors are the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority and the Act 47 coordinators. The coordinators are made up of financial advisors Public Financial Management and the law firm Eckert Seamans.

What authority does the plan have?

The Act 47 plan acts as a set of recommendations. But, if the city ignores the recommendations, the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority can withhold all or part of the the city’s gaming revenue, as it did last year.

Read more about Act 47 at the website of our partner PublicSource.