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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 18, 2022 08:21 PM
From: Senator Patrick M. Browne
To: All Senate members
Subject: Cosponsorship - Senate Bill 516 Compromise Legislation
Last Session, both the Senate and House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 516, which provided for the referral of unpaid fines, fees and restitution for Magisterial District Judge and Common Pleas debt to a collection agency when a Defendant fails to appear. Senate Bill 516 would have removed the hurdle that MDJ courts statewide face in being able to refer a case to a collection agency when a Defendant absconds or fails to appear at an ability to pay hearing. As it stands, an unpaid MDJ/Summary debt cannot be referred to a collection agency until a Defendant has a financial determination hearing.

However, Governor Wolf vetoed SB 516 as Veto No. 2, due to concerns raised by interested parties related to the potential impact on indigent defendants. Governor Wolf asked me to work with these interested parties to achieve a compromise that would protect these defendants, while increasing the court’s ability to collect fees from those who have the ability to pay.

After working with these interested parties since last summer, we have achieved compromise bill language that the former opponents to Senate Bill 516 support. I am grateful that these interested parties were willing to participate in this working group to find common ground on this legislation. 

Cosponsors of Senate Bill 516 included Senators Martin, Mensch, Stefano and Langerholc.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation. 


Introduced as SB1208