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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 31, 2023 09:54 AM
From: Senator Lindsey M. Williams and Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill
To: All Senate members
Subject: Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Act for Taxpayer Accountability
In 1863, Congress enacted the federal False Claims Act to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of government funds. By encouraging private citizens to come forward as whistleblowers, the false claims act holds those filing false or fraudulent claims against the government accountable to taxpayers across the United States. Here in Pennsylvania, we should be holding those who seek to profit off the backs of hardworking taxpayers by filing false or fraudulent claims with the Commonwealth to the same standard.

To commemorate the 160th Anniversary of the False Claims Act, we will soon be re-introducing legislation that will amend the Human Services Code by enacting the Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Act. Similar to the federal legislation, our Act will ensure accountability and protection of taxpayer dollars across the state. This bill was Senate Bill 38 of 2021-2022

In fiscal year 2020 alone, the Justice Department recovered $2.2 Billion under the federal False Claims Act. Since the enactment of the federal False Claims Act, thirty-one states have passed their own state false claims acts, including several of our bordering states. The state of Maryland passed its state false claims act in 2015. Since then, Maryland has recovered $81.6 million in taxpayer funds. In 2008, the state of New Jersey adopted its state false claims act. They have recovered over $122 million for their taxpayers.

Recent history has shown that adopting false claims legislation, whether it’s at the state or federal level, exposes waste, fraud, and abuse of government funds and recovers billions of taxpayer dollars. The Commonwealth should join the ranks of the federal and state governments ensuring taxpayer accountability by enacting the Commonwealth False Claims Act.

Senate Bill 38 was previously co-sponsored by Senators Kane, Hughes, Fontana, Martin, Comitta, Stefano, Costa, Muth, Cappelletti, and Collett.

We urge you to stand with us in support of taxpayer accountability and co-sponsor this powerful piece of legislation.