Senator David G. Argall's (R-29) legislation, Senate Bill 276, has unanimously passed the Senate's Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee.

This legislation strengthens current law, approved in the 1999-2000 session, to require the Pennsylvania Department of General Services to coordinate with local public and private sector community revitalization organizations when deciding on a location for any state agency office.

"I am pleased to see this legislation advance in committee. This legislation will further encourage state agencies, when necessary, to sign leases for downtown locations in an effort to aid and revitalize our aging downtowns," said Argall. "Too often in the past, state government offices were located in remote and expensive locations. This legislation will strengthen my original Downtown Location Law from 2000."

Introduced by Argall and signed into law by Gov. Tom Ridge, the Downtown Location Law encourages state agencies to locate offices in central business districts. The state government estimates that over the past 10 years, 90 percent of all state government leases have been designated in downtown areas. This began as a bipartisan effort to assist job growth in Pennsylvania's downtowns. Now, based on 10 years experience, Argall's amendment attempts to improve the original law.