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PA LAC Supports Sustainability Measures in the Legislature

During the current legislative session in Harrisburg, various Bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate on issues related to sustainability. These Bills include requirements for solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations and the so-called right to dry laundry by solar energy.

The CAI Pennsylvania Legislative Action Committee has voted to support the following Bills after meetings with the Bills sponsors, and after significant input and changes to the language of the legislation in order to satisfy concerns of the LAC.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

State Senator John Kane (D-Delaware and Chester Counties) distributed a co-sponsor member in the Summer of 2023 outlining his intention to introduce legislation “to allow residents of condominiums and common interest communities to install electric car charging stations in their designated parking spaces.” CAI met with Senator Kane and his staff in December 2023 to discuss the unique issues of ownership, deeded parking spaces, and the infrastructure that may be necessary to power such charging stations. Senator Kane agreed to look at CAI’s preferred language on the topic of EV charging stations, which emulates legislation adopted over a decade ago in the State of Oregon. Senator Kane accepted this language, and his Bill was introduced on April 30, 2024, in the State Senate, where it was referred to the Transportation Committee. Additionally, Representative Tim Brennan (D-Bucks County) indicated in early 2024 that he intended to introduce a companion Bill in the House. Rep. Brennan’s Bill was introduced on June 3, 2024 and referred to the Housing and Community Development Committee. On June 14, 2024, the CAI PA LAC voted to officially support both Bills.

It is inevitable that community associations will need to install EV charging stations as more and more homeowners buy electric vehicles. CAI believes the pending legislation will create the necessary framework for community associations to accommodate the need for charging stations to power the vehicles of the future.

Right to Dry Legislation

Rep. Lisa Borowski (D-Delaware County) introduced House Bill 1179 on May 19, 2023 and the Bill was referred to the Housing and Community Development Committee. CAI met with Representative Borowski to discuss the legislation and proposed an amendment to the Bill that was accepted by Rep. Borowski. CAI’s amendment included a provision allowing an association to establish reasonable regulations regarding the time, place and manner of use, and also cleaned up the language in the original draft to make the legislation more practical. If adopted, a community association would be prohibited from imposing unreasonable restrictions prohibiting an owner or tenant from drying clothes outdoors. CAI’s amendment was adopted by the Committee on May21, 2024 and the LAC voted to support the Bill at its June 14, 2024 meeting.

Solar Panels

Several Bills have been introduced in both legislative chambers this session that would impose requirements on community associations governing solar panels. As with electric vehicle charging stations, the LAC believes it is inevitable that some form of legislation will be adopted by the legislature on this issue to meet the increasing demand for alternate forms of energy. The LAC has voted to oppose House Bill 1759, introduced by Rep. Elizabeth Hanbridge (D-Montgomery County) on October 23, 2023 and has taken no position on Senate Bill 31, introduced by Senator Katie Muth (D-Chester and Montgomery Counties) on January 18, 2023. The LAC believes both Bills are not workable as written. However, the LAC has provided draft legislation to the Housing and Community Affairs Committee for consideration as an amendment to House Bill 1759. The language provided by the LAC is legislative text from the 2010 legislative session which CAI supported at that time, and which passed the House, but died in the Senate at the end of the session that year.

As of now, whether or not any of these Bills are adopted and signed into law before the end of the legislative session in November, 2024 is anyone’s guess. PA LAC continues to engage with members of the legislature on these, and other, issues and will continue to provide updates on legislative developments as they arise. Visit this link for more information on Bills being tracked in Pennsylvania, and this link for New Jersey legislation. 

Interested in serving as a LAC Delegate? Nominations for the two year term commencing October 1, 2024 are now due to the chapter office. Contact Executive Director Tony Campisi if you are interested in nominating yourself to a CAI LAC. Nominations should be submitted to the chapter no later than August 1, 2024.