Senate committee approves local lawmakers’ measure to improve safety for household goods movers

HARRISBURG – The Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee unanimously approved a proposal sponsored by Representative Gary Day (R-Lehigh/Berks) to strengthen penalties on illegal household good movers.

The bill, House Bill 1769, is identical to a proposal authored by Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) that passed the Senate unanimously last October.

Under Argall and Day’s legislation, household goods movers operating illegally in Pennsylvania would be subject to a $5,000 fine and a third degree misdemeanor. Vehicles used in the illegal move would be confiscated and registration would be suspended. Repeat offenders would be subject to a $10,000 fine.

“Residents who enlist the help of moving companies should have the peace of mind that their belongings are being entrusted to a reputable firm that has followed the letter of the law,” said Day, author of the legislation. “The Lehigh Valley has witnessed tragedy in the death of a person at the hands of one of these untrained, unprofessional operations.  This bill will move us to protecting the public. I appreciate Sen. Argall’s leadership in moving this measure through the Senate. This is another example of governmental cooperation benefiting the greater good.”

The measure would only apply to commercial, for-hire entities.

“Families trust moving companies with all of their possessions,” Argall said. “Unfortunately, it’s cheaper to operate a moving company illegally in Pennsylvania than it is to adhere to the law. If a move goes wrong with these illegal entities, the families are left holding the bag since illegal movers do not carry adequate insurance for the goods they are moving. I appreciate working with Representative Day to protect families across the state so this type of unlawful behavior does not continue.”

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