SECTION 1. PURPOSE AND CONSTRUCTION. The purpose
of this article is to provide for maximum local
self-government with a minimum of local government units,
and to prevent duplication of tax levying jurisdictions. A
liberal construction shall be given to the powers of local
SECTION 2. LOCAL GOVERNMENT POWERS. All local
government powers shall be vested in boroughs and cities.
The State may delegate taxing powers to organized boroughs
and cities only.
SECTION 3. BOROUGHS. The entire State shall be
divided into boroughs, organized or unorganized. They shall
be established in a manner and according to standards
provided by law. The standards shall include population,
geography, economy, transportation, and other factors. Each
borough shall embrace an area and population with common
interests to the maximum degree possible. The legislature
shall classify boroughs and prescribe their powers and
functions. Methods by which boroughs may be organized,
incorporated, merged, consolidated, reclassified, or
dissolved shall be prescribed by law.
SECTION 4. ASSEMBLY. The governing body of the organized
borough shall be the assembly, and its composition shall be
established by law or charter.
SECTION 5. SERVICE AREAS. Service areas to provide
special services within an organized borough may be
established, altered, or abolished by the assembly, subject
to the provisions of law or charter. A new service area
shall not be established if, consistent with the purposes of
this article, the new service can be provided by an existing
service area, by incorporation as a city, or by annexation
to a city. The assembly may authorize the levying of taxes,
charges, or assessments within a service area to finance the
SECTION 6. UNORGANIZED BOROUGHS. The legislature
shall provide for the performance of services it deems
necessary or advisable in unorganized boroughs, allowing for
maximum local participation and responsibility. It may
exercise any power or function in an unorganized borough
which the assembly may exercise in an organized borough.
SECTION 7. CITIES. Cities shall be incorporated in a
manner prescribed by law, and shall be a part of the borough
in which they are located. Cities shall have the powers and
functions conferred by law or charter. They may be merged,
consolidated, classified, reclassified, or dissolved in the
manner provided by law.
SECTION 8. COUNCIL. The governing body of a city
shall be the council.
SECTION 9. CHARTERS. The qualified voters of any
borough of the first class or city of the first class may
adopt, amend, or repeal a home rule charter in a manner
provided by law. In the absence of such legislation, the
governing body of a borough or city of the first class shall
provide the procedure for the preparation and adoption or
rejection of the charter. All charters, or parts or
amendments of charters, shall be submitted to the qualified
voters of the borough or city, and shall become effective if
approved by a majority of those who vote on the specific
SECTION 10. EXTENDED HOME RULE. The legislature may
extend home rule to other boroughs and cities.
SECTION 11. HOME RULE POWERS. A home rule borough or
city may exercise all legislative powers not prohibited by
law or by charter.
SECTION 12. BOUNDARIES. A local boundary commission
or board shall be established by law in the executive branch
of the state government. The commission or board may
consider any proposed local government boundary change. It
may present proposed changes to the legislature during the
first ten days of any regular session. The change shall
become effective forty-five days after presentation or at
the end of the session, whichever is earlier, unless
disapproved by a resolution concurred in by a majority of
the members of each house. The commission or board, subject
to law, may establish procedures whereby boundaries may be
adjusted by local action.
SECTION 13. AGREEMENTS; TRANSFER OF POWERS.
Agreements, including those for cooperative or joint
administration of any functions or powers, may be made by
any local government with any other local government, with
the State, or with the United States, unless otherwise
provided by law or charter. A city may transfer to the
borough in which it is located any of its powers or
functions unless prohibited by law or charter, and may in
like manner revoke the transfer.
SECTION 14. LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. An agency shall
be established by law in the executive branch of the state
government to advise and assist local governments. It shall
review their activities, collect and publish local
government information, and perform other duties prescribed
SECTION 15. SPECIAL SERVICE DISTRICTS. Special
service districts existing at the time a borough is
organized shall be integrated with the government of the
borough as provided by law.