Attorney General Shapiro Posts Budget to Fight Heroin, Collect Delinquent Revenue and Reinvest in Law Enforcement

March 3, 2017 | Topic: Opioids
Attorney General Shapiro Budget Testimony

Attorney General Shapiro Budget Testimony

HARRISBURG — The Office of Attorney General Josh Shapiro publicly posted its 2017-2018 budget request online, one week after testifying in front of the Pennsylvania Senate and House Appropriation committees.

“My budget will let the agents, investigators and prosecutors in the Attorney General’s office shake off the problems of the past and take on the big challenges we’re facing in Pennsylvania, from the heroin epidemic to the crooked scam artists going after our seniors and the predators targeting our kids online,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

During the Senate hearing, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne urged the Office of Attorney General and other independent agencies to post their budget requests online. You can read the Office of Attorney General’s budget request here.

In the request, Attorney General Shapiro shows how he would dedicate a 14.8 percent increase to expand the fight against the heroin and opioids epidemic, collect more revenue owed to the Commonwealth from delinquent fees and licenses, and reinvest in the top law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania which has endured years of hardship under the prior elected administration.

“When the top law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania is properly funded and led by someone ethical and hard-charging, we can take on any fight for the people of Pennsylvania,” said First Deputy Attorney General Michelle Henry. “That’s what General Shapiro’s budget is about.”

The new efforts being recommended in the budget are:

  • 16 new agents and 3 prosecutors to prevent controlled substances, such as opioid narcotics, from being sold illegally and to expand investigations into complex drug trafficking organization.
  • 3 new positions to handle intricate cases in the Child Predator Unit, which has arrested over 800 perpetrators since its inception and has a lifetime 99 percent conviction rate.
  • Replacing lost positions in the Criminal, Public Protection and Civil divisions to fulfill the office’s statutory obligations to defend the Commonwealth, pursue drug crime and protect Pennsylvania seniors and consumers.

In addition to these efforts, Attorney General Shapiro’s budget highlights how much revenue the agency generates for the Commonwealth; $425 million in just the last budget year. The main sources of revenue are:

  • $339 million – Tobacco Enforcement Section
  • $55 million – Financial Enforcement and Collections
  • $25 million – Medicaid Fraud
  • $5 million – Public Protection Division

# # #