Leaving Act 47

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

On a Monday morning in February, people packed the Pittsburgh mayor’s conference room to witness the city’s successful transition to financial independence — an event lauded as a turning point for the city’s future.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA


  Fourteen years after entering Act 47, the city of Pittsburgh appears to be very close to exiting the program, which places financially distressed municipalities under state oversight.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Johnstown City Council was supposed to vote Wednesday to adopt an amended recovery plan in order to stay in Act 47, Pennsylvania’s assistance program for financially distressed communities. The vote was tabled.

This month marks Johnstown’s 25th year in the program; the city wouldn’t be able to cover its expenses without the tools the program provides, such as being able to restructure debt and collect a higher local services tax. So why the hold-up?