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(717) 260-6140
Farry Bill Would Enable Counties with Crime Labs to Receive Share of User Fees Imposed on Criminals
11/15/2011
HARRISBURG -- The House Judiciary Committee today advanced legislation, sponsored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), which would enable all counties that operate their own crime labs to receive a share of the costs incurred from the people who are convicted of crimes in the Commonwealth.

Currently, the criminal laboratory user fee that is imposed on criminals in certain cases is paid to first-and second-class counties that operate their own labs or into a special fund known as the Criminal Laboratory User Fee Fund. The latter is used solely for the operation and maintenance of the Pennsylvania State Police crime labs. In counties of the first and second class, the fees offset the cost of operating labs in those counties. The law does not provide for counties of other classes that also operate their own crime labs. Bucks County is a 2A Class County that operates a county-run crime lab. It has been estimated that the fees received by the county could be upward of $300,000.

“I drafted this legislation upon learning that there are counties doing criminal lab work that are not receiving their share of compensation from the user fees collected in criminal cases,” said Farry. “House Bill 1769 will level the playing field by giving all counties with crime labs access to much-needed funding to support their operations. This shifts the burden of these costs away from the taxpayers to those who necessitate such expenses by committing a crime.”

Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said crime labs have a bigger job today with the influx of designer drugs on the market. He said Farry’s legislation would enable labs to keep pace with the latest testing procedures.

“We are seeing a growth in the number of individuals who are driving impaired or committing other crimes while under the influence of designer drugs,” said Heckler. “This means we constantly have to update our testing procedures, which is expensive. This bill appropriately ensures that those costs are borne by perpetrators of crime, not taxpayers.”

Farry’s bill now goes to the full House for consideration.


State Representative Frank Farry
142nd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
RepFarry.com
Contact: Donna Pinkham 
dpinkham@pahousegop.com
717.260.6452
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