House Bill 261, introduced by state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, Democratic chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee, unanimously passed the House on May 7.
The bill would provide specific authority to all 29 licensing boards and commissions within the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs to suspend or revoke a license for failure to pay a fine or cost assessed as a result of a disciplinary process.
Currently, only nine of the 29 licensing boards and commissions have specific authority to suspend or revoke a license for failure to pay a fine.
“My bill would provide a new method for BPOA for collecting all unpaid fees, costs, fines and penalties plus interest,” Rep. Readshaw said. “The boards and commissions under BPOA are self-funded and do not receive money from the General Fund for operational expenses. Revenue is generated through collection of fines and licensing fees. Collecting these fines will alleviate the financial burden on licenses not subject to disciplinary action.”
This bill would also permit any associated unpaid fines, costs and interest that are equal or greater than $1,000 to be entered as a judgment at the Commonwealth Court. This process is already used for collection of unpaid criminal fines and taxes.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.