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State Senate Bill Would Compensate Attorney General's Office for Debt Collection Efforts

One lawmaker wants to allow the state Attorney General to add a surcharge to debts it collects on behalf of other state agencies.

Right now, the office of Pennsylvania’s top law enforcer goes after debts to state agencies, but isn’t compensated for its efforts.

Democratic state Sen. Tim Solobay of Allegheny County said it means taxpayers, not debtors, are funding debt collection.

"Instead of the taxpayers picking up the tab for these folks who have violated something, this would out a 5 percent charge onto the outstanding bill that these individuals owe, and it’s no larger than that and those fines are solely for the cost of going out and doing the collections," he said.

The attorney general is already allowed to contract with private debt collectors, which can charge their own fees to debtors.

Solobay’s forthcoming measure is modeled on a House bill that was introduced last session.