HARRISBURG, June 4, 2012 – A bill that will raise revenue to fund State Police training classes while creating a fairer fine-distribution system cleared the Senate Appropriations committee today, according to state Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, the bill’s sponsor.

Senate Bill 237 will 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 significant expense for all levels of government,” Tartaglione said.  “Some large municipalities are taking advantage of state police, putting the cost on all state taxpayers and stretching State Police resources. This bill will help ease the coverage complications and financial pressure on the State Police while creating a fairer funding system for all Pennsylvania taxpayers.”

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.

“Taxpayers in struggling cities pay the rising cost of police services through local property taxes, while more than 1,500 municipalities pay nothing, and get money back,” Tartaglione said. “This puts creates added strain on public safety during difficult economic times.”

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 passed the Senate Transportation Committee unanimously more than a year ago.  It is expected to affect about 1,200 municipalities across Pennsylvania.

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