Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) used to be in law enforcement himself. As a former officer, he said funding for the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is a crucial need.
“Proposals to increase state police funding died under the former administration, but thanks to Gov. Corbett’s leadership, the legislature worked together in a bipartisan manner to ensure that the Pennsylvania State Police has funding for 100 new cadets this year under the 2012-13 state budget,” Vereb said in a statement released on Monday. “Public safety is one the most important jobs of any government and securing adequate funds to fight crime in communities across Pennsylvania is one of my top priorities, without increasing spending or implementing any new taxes on our hardworking citizens.”
Vereb was joined by Gov. Tom Corbett and PSP Commissioner Frank Noonan, state lawmakers and over 100 State Police cadets on Monday to thank the state legislature for its support. The state agreed to aid the PSP with increases in its new budget, including funding two new cadet classes, according to the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus website.
Corbett said that funding will come from both the state budget and a new municipal fine-sharing program. Estimates from the GOP say the money will fund nearly 200 new troopers in 2013.
“The importance of the job you are about to undertake is made clear by this fact: This fine sharing bill, which will help pay for future cadet classes, passed unanimously in the state Senate and with an overwhelming majority in the House,” Corbett said to the cadets on Monday. “It will provide millions of dollars annually for your training and it does so without a tax increase and in a way that directs services to the citizens of our state.’’
According to the site, PSP troopers protect more than 80 percent of the state. With a projected 500 vacancies estimated by June next year, the expected $4 million raised by the new Act 124 (Senate Bill 237) will go a long way.
The bill went into effect on Sept. 3, according to the Pennsylvania General Assembly website.
“That revenue would come from tickets for speeding, running red lights and other traffic violations issued by state police in the 1,700 Pennsylvania towns that don’t have full-time local police,” said the GOP in a press release. “A full 50 percent of the ticket revenue produced by state police in the many towns they cover has always gone to the municipality where the violation occurred, with the other half going to the state.”
The new act changes how the funds are directed in many of the state’s towns.
“As mandated under Act 124, ticket revenue no longer will be split with larger towns of more than 3,000 people that lack a police force. Instead, all of that ticket revenue will go for more state police cadet classes,” said the release. “Towns with fewer than 3,000 people that lack a police force, however, will continue to get 50 percent of the ticket revenue.”