Legislators Unveil Rural Population Revitalization Commission Proposal for PA


State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), chairman of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania Board of Directors, along with vice chairman, state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-121), and state Rep. Dan Moul (R-91), held a news conference today unveiling their legislative efforts to establish a Rural Population Revitalization Commission. The commission would report on rural population changes and make recommendations for attracting and retaining residents in rural Pennsylvania.

The proposal is in response to an October 2023 population projection report from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania showing a continuing divergence of population in Pennsylvania’s rural and urban counties, with urban areas projected to grow 4.1%, while rural areas face a 5.8% decline. All three legislators, as well as state Sen. Judy Schwank (D-11), serve on the Center’s Board of Directors and began working on this project shortly after the report was published late last fall.

Members of the commission would include appointments from organizations specializing in issues like education, healthcare, and business development. The commission would put forward a report every two years, with updates on population shifts as well as best practices and new policy recommendations for retaining and attracting residents. The legislators noted that, to their knowledge, this is a first-of-its-kind commission and hope to be able to move forward soon to make Pennsylvania a national leader when it comes to retaining, attracting, and revitalizing the population of our rural communities – and our commonwealth at-large.

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