Recently, the Pennsylvania House passed legislation to provide an additional source of revenue to the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement. House Bill 142 would exempt excess Dog Law fines, fees and cost from being deposited into the Judicial Computer System Augmentation Account.
Since 1988, all fines, fees and costs collected by the Pennsylvania judicial system in excess of the amount collected from same sources during Fiscal Year 1986-87 are deposited into the Judicial Computer System Augmentation Account. These funds are used to operate and support the statewide judicial computer system. This includes excess funds imposed under Act 225 of 1982, known as the Dog Law, that would otherwise be used to fund the operations of the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.
In Pennsylvania, the primary function of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is ensuring the welfare of breeding dogs and puppies in commercial breeding kennels. The office also regulates activities pertaining to dogs that are classified as dangerous, and oversees annual licensure and rabies vaccinations for dogs.
Currently, the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement has been operating at a deficit as the various licensing fees that support the Bureau have not generated enough revenue to fund operations. This legislation would help address this issue by exempting fines, court fees and costs under the Dog Law from being transferred to the Judicial Computer System Augmentation Account. This amounts to approximately $200,000 per year in lost revenue for the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement.
What You Can Do:
This bill has been assigned to the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. Those interested in commenting on House Bill 142 can do so by contacting the members of the Committee or your Senator.
AKC Government Relations continues to monitor this and several other bills under consideration by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. For questions or more information on how you can get involved in Pennsylvania, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.