House Bill 261, introduced by state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, was signed into law on February 4 as Act 6 of 2014.
The law gives 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.
“This law provides a new method for the licensing boards and commissions for collecting all unpaid fees, costs, fines and penalties plus interest,” said Rep. Readshaw, Democratic chairman of the House Professional Licensure Committee. “The boards and commissions under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs 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.”
The new law also permits any associated unpaid fines, costs and interest that are equal or greater than $1,000 to be entered as a judgment in Commonwealth Court. This process has previously been used for collection of unpaid criminal fines and taxes.
The law takes effect in 60 days.