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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 23, 2017 10:03 AM
From: Representative Aaron Bernstine
To: All House members
Subject: Lottery Winnings/State Tax Delinquencies, Welfare Benefit Check & Crime Victim's Restitution (Previously HB251)
In the near future I plan to introduce legislation that will amend the Lottery Law to provide a winnings intercept for state delinquent taxes and outstanding court costs and to require a determination of whether a winner who is receiving public assistance will remain eligible.

Specifically, my legislation will require the Department of Revenue to conduct a background check on any individual that wins more than $2,500 as a result of playing the Pennsylvania Lottery to determine if the individual owes back taxes to the Commonwealth. In the event the background check leads to a determination of taxes owed, the amount owed will be deducted from any winnings and remitted to the Commonwealth. Current state law only requires the Department of Revenue and the Department of Public Welfare to work together to garnish lottery winnings when back child support is owed. In a situation where both back child support and back taxes are owed the child support obligation will be given first priority.

In addition, this legislation would require a welfare benefit check on each lottery winner who wins a prize more than $2,500. If it is determined that the individual is collecting public assistance benefits the amount of the lottery winning will be provided to the Department of Human Services and must be considered when determining if the individual should continue to receive benefits. The legislation also allows for an intercept of lottery winnings if an individual has not paid his or her court ordered restitution to the victim(s) of the crime they perpetrated.

This legislation was sponsored by Representative Adam Harris last session and it was passed by the House unanimously.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Please contact Julieann Newill at 783-8322 if you have any additional questions. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB674