Home Rule Charter
What is Home Rule?
With home rule, Pittsburgh will no longer have to go to the State Legislature in Harrisburg to seek permission for actions it should be able to decide on its own. In the future, home rule will allow the City to do everything not expressly forbidden by state law or the Constitution. Moreover, the new charter will establish a more flexible, efficient and responsible government.
There are certain matters that the Study Commission was not allowed to change. The state law authorizing the Commission forbids any changes in pensions, benefits or working conditions now enjoyed by city employees, subjects of taxation, property assessments, eminent domain, public schools, or election laws. Therefore, this charter can only do part of the task of modernizing city government. Many other needed changes will have tocome through the General Assembly of the Commonwealth.
Many essential changes, however, are made in this new charter. Particularly, it provides for a flexible, easy-to-change structure, and for improved access and response for citizens.