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Farry Bill to Enable Counties with Crime Labs to Receive Share of Fees Advances
10/2/2012
HARRISBURG—Legislation aimed at leveling the playing field by giving all counties with crime labs access to much-needed funding to support their operations was approved today by the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), the prime sponsor of the bill.

“Currently, there are counties in Pennsylvania doing criminal lab work that are not receiving their share of compensation from the user fees collected in criminal cases,” said Farry. “By creating a level playing field for all counties with crime labs, we will be saving thousands of taxpayer dollars.”

Under current law, criminal laboratory user fees are collected and paid to first- and second-class counties that operate their own crime labs or deposited to 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. However, the law does not provide for counties of other classes that also operate their own crime labs to receive a share of the fees. 

House Bill 1769 would allow counties that operate their own crime labs to receive the money generated by the criminal laboratory user fee imposed on defendants within that county.
In counties that do not operate their own criminal laboratory, the fees imposed on defendants will be used to support Pennsylvania State Police criminal laboratories.

“With the increase of designer drugs on the market today, crime labs must keep pace with the latest testing procedures,” added Farry. “This bill will help enable counties to stay ahead of the game, and make sure the perpetrators of the crimes foot the bill, not the taxpayers.”

Farry also added that Bucks County is a 2A Class County that operates a county-run crime lab, and it has been estimated that the fees received by the county could be upward of $300,000.

House Bill 1769 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.



State Representative Frank Farry
142nd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
RepFarry.com



Media Contact: Abbey Fosnot
afosnot@pahousegop.com
717.260.6222
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