Democrats in the House have recently shown support of the Act 13 challenge in the form of a “amicus curiae.”
The legal brief was filed as a gesture to stand by the seven municipalities, a medical doctor, and a non profit fighting Act 13. A lawsuit was filed against the commonwealth by these groups, and in July the Commonwealth Court ruled that the elimination of local zoning ordinances for oil and gas operations under Act 13 was unconstitutional. Attorneys for the state appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case are to be heard by the court Oct. 17.
Briefs were also filed by the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, the city of Pittsburgh, and by members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed the law in February creating an impact fee and determining what municipalities could include in their gas drilling zoning requirements.The law has been a point of contention between the state and local municipalities since then.
It was announced recently that the Act 13 impact fee raised more than $200 million for Pennsylvania counties and towns to use for road repairs or other local government expenses.