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CRIZ acceleration, expansion cut out of budget-related bill

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York and other cities hoping to get a City Revitalization and Improvement Zone, or CRIZ, this year might have to wait a little longer.

The amended fiscal code bill, which is part of the 2014-15 state budget, no longer contains language to accelerate or expand the CRIZ designations. The House Rules Committee removed that language Tuesday evening. The House is expected to act on the fiscal code bill today.

The CRIZ is a program designed to help cities of at least 30,000 people boost redevelopment and revitalize abandoned and blighted areas through 130-acre investment zones.

“Unfortunately, they are out,” said York County Democratic Rep. Kevin Schreiber, a proponent of the acceleration effort.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean CRIZ is a done deal this session, added York County Republican Rep. Seth Grove.

Grove said he expects the Senate to add at least three cities back into the amended bill once the House approves it. York stands to benefit then, he said.

“I think it was just too big,” he said of the original language in the budget-related bill.

Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, said the Senate will review the bill once the House takes action.

"After the House passes the bill, we will review it in detail and then determine what course of action to take," he said.

The earliest the Senate would return to session would be next week, he said.

Several proposals had been floated in the House and Senate during this legislative session to move up the next wave of CRIZ applications. The law currently has that set at 2016 after Lancaster and Bethlehem received the first two zones last year.

York officials already have a CRIZ authority in place that has been refining its application for the next cycle. The city’s application was in the mix last year.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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