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Dean Donaher calls for crime victims restitution

Hanover Township, PA (May 25)– Dean M. Donaher of Hanover Township, Northampton County, Democratic nominee for State Representative in the 138thLegislative District, is demanding that legislators in Harrisburg pass legislation that ensures criminals pay restitution to their victims.

“We have a broken system in place where criminals are not properly compensating their victims even after payments have been ordered by a court. This is wrong, and it needs to change,” said Donaher.

While strides have been made over time, more needs to be done. A state task force included 47 recommendations to the state in 2013. Five-years later, only one bill has been passed by the General Assembly. Due to this bill being passed and signed into law, according to the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate, approximately $4.4 million has been redirected to victims and the courts since that one law took effect in January 2017. Yet, hundreds of millions of dollars owed to victims of crimes are still outstanding.

Donaher has come out in support of state Senator Lisa M. Boscola’s bill (Senate Bill 146) that the GOP has bottled up in committee. The legislation would require the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue to check with the court to determine if a winner of more than $2,500 has any court-ordered payments due to their victims. If a payment is due, the Revenue Department would be mandated to send that money to the victim.

“This common sense legislation is just one avenue we can help victims of crimes in Pennsylvania. Yet, the ineptitude of the GOP legislative leadership cannot be understated. Victims of all crimes deserve any and all payments they are owed. When will legislators in Harrisburg get serious about combatting crime in our local communities,” Donaher asked?

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