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Suspend Licenses for unpaid Court Fines
July 15, 2014
HARRISBURG- It's estimated that there's around a billion dollars every year in fines and court costs that are not collected by Pennsylvania courts. One state Senator says the state should withhold drivers' licenses until the money is paid.

Senator Stack has introduced two bills (Senate Bills 918 and 919) aimed at collecting unpaid court costs and fines, as well as restitution for victims of crime. The Senator estimates that the courts have about 1 billion dollars in unpaid costs, fines and restitution that could be collected through this legislation. 

The first bill (SB 918) would prohibit the renewal of a driverís license for anyone that has delinquent costs, fines, fees, and restitution imposed by a Pennsylvania court.

PennDOT has said this legislation would require new verification software to be developed and installed, so the bill would allocate $400,000 annually from the General Fund to the Motor Licensing Fund in order to pay for ongoing administrative costs for this program. 

While $400,000 annually may seem like a significant expense, Senator Stack says that with over $1 billion in unpaid fines, this will more than pay for itself in both the short term and the long term.

The second bill (SB 919) would allow Pennsylvania courts to attach the income, state income tax returns, or lottery winnings of people that have delinquent court costs, fines, fees, and restitution. The legislation allows the courts and offenders to enter into repayment plans or other arrangements to prevent income attachment.  

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