At midnight last night, in the absence of Governor Wolf taking any action, HB 218 became law, which, inter alia, stripped the Pennsylvania State Police of the $4,575,000 of additional funding sought by the PSP for the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) for 2017-2018.
As you can see, although the PSP putatively did not have any remaining PICS funds from the 2016-2017 budget (unlike every other appropriation), the PSP has $9.8 million in a restricted account, just for use for PICS and which was generated from PICS. So much for PSP’s argument that they lose money in relation to PICS. I also have on good information that $3.3 million of the $9.8 million was just added last year. Requests for more information regarding the receipt of funds to this restricted account have been requested.
While some savvy individuals reviewing HB 218 might point to the $8,757,000 seemingly being appropriated for the “Firearm Records Check Fund,” it is important to explain that such is the removal of that amount from the PSP’s restricted account, reducing it from $9.8 million to approximately $1 million.
It is time for the citizens of Pennsylvania to stop paying millions of dollars, each year, for a broken and duplicative system, when the FBI offer NICS to us for free.