Senator Dan Laughlin (R-49) today renewed his push for the expansion of a program that could spur development and job growth in Erie and communities across Pennsylvania.
Speaking during a Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearing with the Department of Community & Economic Development, Senator Laughlin again called for the lifting of the Governor’s moratorium on the creation of new City Revitalization and Improvement Zones (CRIZ) in the Commonwealth.
Created by Act 52 of 2013, the CRIZ program is intended to redevelop vacant, desolate and abandoned properties and create jobs. State and local taxes collected in the CRIZ are used to repay debt service to stimulate economic development projects within the zone.
Senator Laughlin, who serves on the Appropriations Committee, has written the Governor on multiple occasions and previously met with Secretary Dennis Davin to push Erie’s case for a CRIZ. “We have had this conversation for three years now,” Senator Laughlin said to Secretary Davin at the DCED budget hearing. “I have done pretty much everything I can to advocate for this program. I know the Administration disagrees with me. But, I am going to continue to fight for it. The median income in (zip code) 16501 is $10,300 (the lowest in the nation). In my opinion, that alone should authorize a CRIZ for the City of Erie. I don’t care what the disagreement is with the Administration.”
While he remained non-committal on the CRIZ proposal, Secretary Davin lauded Erie’s economic development efforts. “Erie has taken great strides and done a great job, not relying on anybody else, but doing it by themselves,” Secretary Davin said, adding that Erie’s recent experience with a federal economic development program is a topic of discussion when he meets with his counterparts from around the country. “Erie comes up in those discussions because of its (federal) Opportunity Zones and what they have done. They are a leader in that particular space and that is a great thing.”
Contact: Matt Azeles firstname.lastname@example.org
Video of the complete dialogue between Senator Laughlin and Secretary Davin is available at: https://pasen.wistia.com/medias/85sk0ctrec
Broadcast Quality Video of the complete dialogue between Senator Laughlin and Secretary Davin is available at: https://www.sendthisfile.com/N37Eh94MCB5x3bqDfeGllMF5