Senate approves Argall bill targeting illegal movers

HARRISBURG – The Senate passed a measure today that would strengthen penalties levied against illegal household goods movers, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks).

Household goods movers in the Pennsylvania are required by law to register and obtain a permit with the Public Utility Commission (PUC). However, a number of companies operate outside the law by failing to register with the PUC. Many companies also fail to carry adequate insurance coverage for the contents they transport, and others do not carry worker’s compensation coverage for employees.

Senate Bill 857 would make it a $5,000 fine and a third degree misdemeanor for illegal household goods movers. Vehicles used in an illegal move would be confiscated and registration would be suspended. Repeat offenders would be subject to a $10,000 fine.

The bill only applies to commercial, for-hire entities.

”In current practice, it is actually cheaper for many companies to pay the fine rather than comply with the law. The flimsy penalties are actually discouraging companies from following the letter of the law,” Argall said. “Strengthening the law will be an important step to ensure consumers and their property is protected.”

All revenue generated by the fines would be used to assist with the PUC’s motor carrier enforcement efforts.

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