A pending proposal in Pennsylvania's senate would allocate some money to the Attorney General's office for debts it collects on behalf of the commonwealth.
The proposal, according to Sen. Tim Solobay (D-Allegheny), would fix a glitch in the law that allows the AG's office to indirectly charge debtors for collection efforts but not reap any of those payments. The AG's office can contract with private collection agencies, which in turn charge debtors, but the office itself can't levy any kind of fee on debtors for collection attempts.
Solobay said the AG's office is ultimately the state's top debt collector and should be able to charge for those efforts.
"A lot of the different agencies of the state, when they have trouble collecting fines or things that they end up having to turn over to the Attorney General's office for collection - basically the cost of doing that is taxpayer funded," Solobay said.
He said a surcharge revenue would only be used to cover the AG's costs of collections.
"Instead of the taxpayers picking up the tab for these folks who have violated something, this would put a five percent charge onto the outstanding bill that these individuals owe," said Solobay.
His proposal is modeled off a House bill introduced last session by Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-Allegheny).