Scranton Act 47 release | Eyewitness News

SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – It’s official. After three decades, the city of Scranton is no longer in “financial distress” with the state.

This is a huge step in regaining control of finances at the local level. An event was held on Tuesday to celebrate the big day as the state restored trust in elected officials.

It was a day celebrating the city of Scranton’s exit from Bill 47. State Department Secretary of Community and Economic Development Dennis Davin released the city from financial distress status after three decades.

“30 years ago there were dysfunctions, there were problems and not unique to Scranton, but Scranton faced them head-on, faced their issues, fought back,” the former said. executive director of the Pennsylvania Economy League, Gerald Cross.

Cross worked for the state’s economic league, providing unbiased, fact-based recommendations to city leaders. Law 47 was signed into law in 1987. Scranton entered in January 1992. The law outlines procedures for stabilizing financially troubled municipalities in the state.

“I tried to tell the city council that we’re not eligible,” said former Scranton Mayor Jimmy Connors.

At the time, Connors was against the Commonwealth labeling the town negatively.

“That’s what people hear when you talk to them about distress. They mean bankruptcy. And we weren’t bankrupt,” Connors said.

Mayor in 1998, Connors had to work with recommendations from the state to pass a budget.

“The state wants this plan implemented and we don’t want to jeopardize any money that may come our way,” Connors said in November 1998.

Bill 47 helped elected officials stay on track to better manage taxpayers’ money. Although it’s been decades, Mayor Paige Cognetti believes the city is in a good place.

“We know how to work as a community, as a municipal government, we know very well how to work with the state to continue to use them as a support system. We have tremendous work to do to make sure that we continue to grow our economy, continue to grow our tax base,” Cognetti said.

Cognetti says that by leaving the status of person in financial difficulty, confidence has been restored.

“Today is a sign of approval that I would say from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that Scranton is on the right track,” Cognetti said.

Scranton is the 16th municipality in the state to emerge from Bill 47.

Hazleton, Mahanoy City and Shamokin are currently labeled as “financially distressed”. Of these three, Shamokin is the only one to have adopted an exit plan. They could be out of Act 47 next year.

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