Tomlinson Bill to Impose Costs on State Licensing Violators Goes to Governor

The State House of Representatives has approved and sent to the Governor legislation that would require persons who are found guilty of violating a state licensing act to pay the costs associated with the investigation, according to Senator Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks), the bill’s sponsor.  Tomlinson is chair of the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee.

Tomlinson’s legislation authorizes the 27 licensing boards and commissions within the Department of State’s Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) to require a person who has been through a formal disciplinary hearing and found to be in violation of a licensing act or regulation to pay the costs associated with investigating the underlying violation. The costs of investigation may not include any associated legal fees or cost of prosecution.

Tomlinson said that licensing boards and commissions currently have no authority to impose such costs.  Instead, they are required to fund their administrative, investigative, legal and miscellaneous expenses through the professional licensing fees.

“BPOA provides the administrative, investigative and legal staff necessary to administer the provisions of the acts, and then assess that cost to the particular board or commission as part of their operating expenses,” Tomlinson said.  “This bill would require individuals who commit a civil violation of the act to pay for the investigation, rather than forcing the various boards and commissions to raise the licensing fees to pay  the costs.

Senate Bill 142 would also increase the maximum civil penalty that a licensing board or commission can impose from $1,000 to $10,000, and provides for the confidentiality of the licensing boards’ records of investigation.

 

Contact:

Fran Cleaver
(717) 787-5072