Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association v. City of Pittsburgh, 071719 PASC, 57 WAP 2017
|Docket Nº:||57 WAP 2017, 58 WAP 2017, 59 WAP 2017, 60 WAP 2017, 61 WAP 2017, 62 WAP 2017, 63 WAP 2017, 64 WAP 2017|
|Opinion Judge:||WECHT JUSTICE.|
|Party Name:||PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT AND LODGING ASSOCIATION, STORMS RESTAURANT AND CATERING, LLC D/B/A STORMS RESTAURANT, LAWRENCEVILLE BREWERY, INC., D/B/A THE CHURCH BREW WORKS, 1215 INCORPORATED, D/B/A RITA'S ITALIAN ICE, DIRT DOCTORS CLEANING SERVICE LLC, AND MODERN CAFE INC. v. CITY OF PITTSBURGH v. SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION LOCAL 32BJ APP...|
|Judge Panel:||SAYLOR, C.J., BAER, TODD, DONOHUE, DOUGHERTY, WECHT, MUNDY, JJ. Chief Justice Saylor files a concurring and dissenting opinion in which Justices Baer and Mundy join. Justice Baer files a concurring and dissenting opinion in which Chief Justice Saylor and Justice Mundy join. Justice Dougherty file...|
|Case Date:||July 17, 2019|
|Court:||Supreme Court of Pennsylvania|
Argued: October 23, 2018
Appeal from the Order of the Commonwealth Court entered May 17, 2017 at Nos. 79 CD 2016, 101 CD 2016, affirming the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County entered December 21, 2015 at No. GD 15-16442.
Appeal from the Order of the Commonwealth Court entered May 17, 2017 at Nos. 100 CD 2016, 102 CD 2016, affirming the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County entered December 17, 2015 at No. GD 15-13329.
SAYLOR, C.J., BAER, TODD, DONOHUE, DOUGHERTY, WECHT, MUNDY, JJ.
Pennsylvania long has sought to balance carefully the time-honored prerogatives of local governance with the countervailing state interest in providing a hospitable environment for commercial activity. In its recent enactment of two ordinances that impose certain obligations upon local businesses, the City of Pittsburgh approached the fulcrum between these competing priorities. The Paid Sick Days Act ("PSDA"), 1 as its name suggests, entitles employees to accrue paid sick leave. The Safe and Secure Buildings Act ("SSBA")2 imposes education and training obligations upon building owners and their employees in furtherance of disaster preparedness, counterterrorism, and related concerns. We are asked to consider whether these ordinances run afoul of the qualified statutory preclusion of local regulations that burden business. We hold that the PSDA does not exceed those limitations, and that the SSBA does exceed them.
I. HISTORICAL AND LEGAL CONTEXT
Historically, "municipal corporations are creatures of the State and . . . the authority of the Legislature over their powers is supreme. . . . Municipal corporations have no inherent powers and may do only those things which the Legislature has expressly or by necessary implication placed within their power to do." Denbow v. Borough of Leetsdale, 729 A.2d 1113, 1118 (Pa. 1999) (quoting Knauer v. Commonwealth, 332 A.2d 589, 590 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1975)).3 The Constitution of 1968 turned this principle on its head. Article IX of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968 provides: Municipalities shall have the right and power to frame and adopt home rule charters. Adoption, amendment or repeal of a home rule charter shall be by referendum. The General Assembly shall provide the procedure by which a home rule charter may be framed and its adoption, amendment or repeal presented to the electors. If the General Assembly does not so provide, a home rule charter or a procedure for framing and presenting a home rule charter may be presented to the electors by initiative or by the governing body of the municipality. A municipality which has a home rule charter may exercise any power or perform any function not denied by this Constitution, by its home rule charter or by the General Assembly at any time.
Pa. Const. art. IX, § 2. By virtue of this revision, any power that the General Assembly did not forbid was now extended to any municipality that-like the City of Pittsburgh- adopted home rule. See City of Phila. v. Schweiker, 858 A.2d 75, 84 (Pa. 2004) (holding that, "[u]nder the concept of home rule, . . . the locality in question may legislate concerning municipal governance without express statutory warrant for each new ordinance," provided it does so in a fashion allowed by its home rule charter and without running afoul of the Pennsylvania Constitution or state statutory law).
In 1996, the General Assembly enacted the Home Rule Charter and Optional Plans Law, 53 Pa.C.S. §§ 2901-3171 (hereinafter, "the HRC"). Echoing Article IX, Section 2, of our Constitution, the HRC extends home-rule authority only to "function[s] not denied by the Constitution of Pennsylvania, by statute or by [the municipality's] home rule charter." 53 Pa.C.S. § 2961; see City of Pittsburgh v. Fraternal Order of Police, Ft. Pitt Lodge No. 1, 161 A.3d 160, 170 (Pa. 2017) (quoting Spahn v. Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 977 A.2d 1132, 1144 (Pa. 2009)). Thus, no home rule charter may confer upon a home-rule municipality "power or authority" that is "contrary to or in limitation or enlargement of powers granted by statutes which are applicable to a class or classes of municipalities." 53 Pa.C.S. § 2962(a). Notwithstanding these limitations, "a home-rule municipality's exercise of legislative power is presumed valid, absent a specific constitutional or statutory limitation." SEPTA v. City of Phila., 101 A.3d 79, 88 (Pa. 2014). The HRC instructs that "[a]ll grants of municipal power to municipalities governed by a home rule charter under this subchapter, whether in the form of specific enumeration or general terms, shall be liberally construed in favor of the municipality." 53 Pa.C.S. § 2961. Accordingly, when we find ambiguity in the scope of municipal authority or the limitations imposed thereon, we must resolve that ambiguity in the municipality's favor. Nutter v. Dougherty, 938 A.2d 401, 411 (Pa. 2007) (citing Cty. of Delaware v. Twp. of Middletown, 511 A.2d 811, 813 (Pa. 1986)).
Home rule incorporates and reinforces local municipalities' traditional police powers. In Balent v. City of Wilkes-Barre, 669 A.2d 309 (Pa. 1995), we described "the police power" as that which "promote[s] the health, safety and general welfare of the people." Id. at 314. In Adams v. City of New Kensington, 55 A.2d 392 (Pa. 1947), interpreting the Third Class City Law's "general welfare clause," we explained that courts regard such provisions "as ample authority for the reasonable exercise, bona fide, of broad and varied municipal activity to protect the health, morals, peace and good order of the community." Id. at 395.4
In explicating the police powers enjoyed by the State, which are broader than, and necessarily superior to, the police powers possessed by counties and municipalities, we have explained: The "police power" is one of the "most essential powers of government . . . ." Hadacheck v. Sebastian, 239 U.S. 394 (1915). It has been variously defined as the power "to promote the public health, morals or safety and the...
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