Tartaglione Trooper Fines-for-Training Bill Passes Senate
HARRISBURG, June 11, 2012 – After more than three years of effort, Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione’s bill to raise revenue for State Police training classes while creating a fairer fine-distribution system passed the Senate unanimously today.
Senate Bill 237 is expected to raise as much as $4 million for cadet training, while municipalities that provide less than 40 hours of local police coverage will lose their share of fines collected through State Police traffic stops.
“Public safety is a top priority for state and local government, and it’s expensive,” Tartaglione said. “We are not training enough new troopers to keep up with the need and at the same time some large municipalities are taking advantage of State Police. That’s affecting all of us.”
Under current law, half of the traffic-enforcement fines collected through state police patrols in a local municipality are returned to the municipality through a Motor License Fund formula – even if the municipality relies only on the state for police protection.
“Cities and small towns are struggling with the rising cost of police services, while more than 1,500 municipalities pay nothing, and get money back,” Tartaglione said. “This inequity has led to budget deficits and inadequate State Police staffing.”
Senate Bill 237 would deny distribution of traffic-fine revenue from the Motor License Fund to any municipality that does not provide locally for at least 40 hours of coverage per week through its own force or a regional contract. Municipalities with fewer than 3,000 residents are exempt.
The bill, first introduced by Tartaglione in the 2009-10 session as SB 225, passed the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously more than a year ago. It is expected to affect about 1,200 municipalities across Pennsylvania.