2021 Legislative Advocacy Summit
Each year, CAI hosts a Legislative Advocacy Summit where members meet with their state legislators to advocate for CAI’s legislative priorities. Click here to read the PA LAC 2021 Advocacy Summit White Paper from the April 15, 2021 Virtual Advocacy Summit.
2021-2022 Legislative Session Priority Bills
The Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee (LAC) has reviewed and taken positions on the following Bills currently pending in Harrisburg.
House Bill 731 - Community Association Data Transparency
CAI supports this Bill. Introduced by Rep. Rosemary Brown on March 3, 2021: This legislation would amend the Municipalities Planning Code to require County Planning Commissions to include CIOC data in their currently required annual report. Counties would be required to collect, maintain, and make available upon request, information identifying condominium associations, cooperative housing developments, and planned communities located within the boundaries of the County. While it is estimated that 2.8 million PA residents live in a common interest ownership community (CIOC) and that roughly 80 percent of new housing starts since 2000 are CIOCs, the actual number and location of these communities is, by and large, unknown. Senate Bill 855 would mandate the collection of data, including information such as name, physical location, land area, lot size, number of units and location and would aid the State in assessing the impact of legislation specific to CIOCs. To mitigate the impact on County governments, amendments to the original bill would permit the County to make the data available to the public at a cost not to exceed that allowed under the state Right to Know Law and would also permit the posting of the data in electronic form.
House Bill 1924 - Homeowner Association Contributions Tax Equity
CAI supports this Bill. Introduced by Representative Valerie Gaydos on September 28, 2021: This legislation seeks to address what amounts to “double taxation” for residents living throughout our Commonwealth in condominium and homeowner associations. This occurs because homeowners in many of these communities are required to pay annual assessments for the upkeep and maintenance of commonly owned facilities and infrastructure such as water and sewer facilities, trash removal and similar services. At the same time these homeowners are paying municipal taxes for similar facilities and services that other homeowners living in the same municipality but not in a planned community receive. Under this proposed legislation, homeowners living in planned communities would, through their homeowners' association, be able to negotiate with the municipality to supply the service or reimburse the homeowners for the actual costs incurred by these homeowners for the services.
Senate Bill 273 - Covid-19 Related Liability
House Bill 1795 - Voting in Community Associations
CAI is neutral on this Bill. Introduced by Representative Rosemary Brown on August 17, 2021. CAI dropped opposition to this Bill after multiple amendments were accepted by Rep. Brown in October, 2022. Read more on CAI's position here.
The provisions of this legislation would, if adopted, have a significant impact on voting within Pennsylvania's community associations, including:
- Restricting voting in an association election to one method for all voters. If the association opts for in-person voting on paper ballots, anyone traveling or away for an extended period of time would not be permitted to vote electronically. CAI believes this will disenfranchise voters.
- Imposing criminal penalties, including fines up to $10,000 and jail time up to 5 years, for “interfering” in an association election, without bothering to define what the term “interfering” means. This provision is un-necessary, as remedies for such behavior already exist under current statutes.
- Imposing a two-thirds vote to change association by-laws (not to be confused with the already required two-thirds vote to amend an association Declaration), a difficult hurdle for an association, many of which already have a difficult time getting unit owners to participate in association elections and other association business such as changing bylaws.
- Requiring associations to call a special meeting, triggering quorum requirements, within seven days of an election, for the sole purpose of introducing candidates for the board to the owners. Associations will now need to reach quorum for a meeting for owners to meet the candidates and reach quorum again days later for the election.
- Requiring an association to hire an attorney, certified public accountant or utilize a “vote management system” (undefined in the Bill) for each election, thereby adding significant costs to the association.
In its present form, CAI opposes this legislation. The Bill was reported out of the House Urban Affairs Committee on September 28, 2021 and tabled by the House on December 14, 2021.
House Bill 1840 - Real Estate Disclosure
CAI opposes this Bill. Introduced by Representative Robert Mecuri on September 8, 2021: The intent of this legislation to strengthen the real estate disclosure process for a purchaser in a common interest owned community.
In its present form, CAI opposes this legislation. The Bill was amended and reported out of the House Urban Affairs Committee on September 28, 2021 and tabled by the House on December 14, 2021.
House Resolution 69 - Common Interest Ownership Communities Study
CAI has not taken a position on this resolution. Introduced by Representative Valerie Gaydos on March 3, 2021: This resolution directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the impact of common interest ownership communities on local governments and the Commonwealth, the challenges facing residents and governing bodies of common interest ownership communities and opportunities for the Commonwealth to assist local governments and common interest ownership communities to deliver adequate services to their residents at an affordable cost.
This resolution was adopted by the House on October 4, 2021.
Senate Bill 597 - Water Quality Accountability Act
CAI opposes this Bill. Introduced by Senator Patrick Stefano on April 21, 2021. The intent of this legislation is uniform safety and sustainability standards for all water and wastewater systems, including those owned by community associations.
CAI has serious concerns with the current printers’ number of SB 597 and the impact the Bill would have on homeowner associations across the Commonwealth. This legislation creates new and additional compliance standards on all municipal owned and municipal authority water and waste-water systems. It also brings these systems under the oversight of the Public Utility Commission. CAI is seeking amendments to the legislation.
Update: On June 6, 2022, the Pennsylvania Senate adopted an amendment, supported by CAI, that removes community associations from this Bill. The amended Bill was then adopted by the full Senate on June 7, 2022.