Governor's Executive Budget Program Measures
Continuing the fight against the opioid and heroin epidemic is a top priority for this agency. An average of 14 Pennsylvanians die each day as a result of the heroin and opioid epidemic. That is why these measures are so critical. For the FY 2022-2023, we will measure drug arrests and drug diversion arrests. The objective will be to curtail drug abuse in the Commonwealth by apprehending illegal drug traffickers and stop the illegal diversion of prescription drugs.
Total drug arrests
With an average of 14 Pennsylvanians dying each and every day from drug overdoses, addressing the heroin, fentanyl and opioid crisis remains the Office’s top priority. Through targeted, intelligence-driven enforcement efforts, OAG made 1,153 drug arrests in FY 20-21, focused on the high-level dealers who push these poisons into our communities and will use this as a key performance measure in FY 22-23
Drug diversion arrests
The illegal diversion of prescription drugs has helped fuel the heroin, fentanyl and opioid crisis that continues to wreak havoc on our communities. Too often, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals with access to powerful narcotics have used their positions to illegally obtain or sell powerful narcotics. In FY 20-21, OAG made 122 diversion arrests and our goal is to restore this to the pre-pandemic levels in FY 22-23.
This measure is important because the Attorney General has a duty to protect the public’s interest – in the charitable assets held by nonprofit corporations and through the enforcement of antitrust laws, which were enacted to simultaneously enable businesses to compete and ensure consumers are not deprived of the benefits and opportunities of free and open markets.
Review of estates, charities, nonprofits, and health care conversions for compliance with rules and regulations
The review of estates, charities, nonprofits and health care conversions for compliance with rules and regulations will be measured for the FY 2022-2023. The objective for this program measure is to increase compliance by estates, charities, nonprofits and health care conversions with established rules and regulations.
The number of reviews conducted for FY 2019-2020 was 1,748, as compared to the number conducted in FY 2020-2021, which was 1,912. The Office of Attorney General is estimating 2,040 for the FY 2021-2022 and based on that number projects 2,100 for the FY 2022-2023.
Consumer protection is a top priority of the Office of Attorney General and the Office’s Bureau of Consumer Protection receives and mediates tens of thousands of complaints each year through its voluntary mediation program. The Office also brings a number of legal actions each year to deter bad business practices and to secure recovery for consumers and the Commonwealth.
Consumer complaints concerning business practices that were mediated
The number of consumer complaints concerning business practices that were mediated by OAG was 25,286 in FY 20-21, well above the 20,736 the Office mediated in FY 15-16. In the current Fiscal Year, OAG is on pace to mediate another 27,000 consumer complaints. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in numerous landlord-tenant issues, price gouging tips and other matters not included in these numbers that were received as tips rather than formal complaints which OAG has dealt with as well. OAG estimates its complaints mediated will be 27,000 in both FY 21-22 and FY 22-23.
Consumer complaints concerning business practices - health care industry
The number of consumer complaints the Office mediated concerning health care industry business practices fell to 1,128 for FY 2020-2021, which we believe to be pandemic-related. For FY's 21-22 and 22-23, OAG expects to mediate approximately 1,456 as consumers return to doctors offices.
Dollars saved by consumers through mediation
The dollars saved by consumers through mediation drastically increased in FY 20-21 to $6,260, up from $2,940 in FY 15-16 and $4,656 in FY 19-20. OAG expects this figure to remain at approximately $4,000 for FY 21-22 and 22-23.
Dollars saved by consumers through mediation - health care industry
The dollar value of recoupment to consumers regarding business practices within the health care industry has decreased slightly between FY 2018-2019 and FY 2019-2020. During the FY 2019-2020 over $1 million was recouped on behalf of Pennsylvania health care consumers.
Legal actions resulting from consumer tips, complaints, and other sources
For the FY 2020-2021, the Office filed 108 legal actions related to unfair and deceptive business practices and it is estimated that 100 legal actions will be taken in FY 21-22 and 22-23 respectively.
Dollar value of relief awarded through legal actions
The dollar value of relief awarded on behalf of consumers through legal actions brought by the office is an important metric which varies widely depending on when cases are resolved."
Child predator arrests
The Office of Attorney General takes protecting children seriously and prosecutes individuals who prey on children to the fullest extent of the law. For FY 22-23, the number of arrests made by the Child Predator Unit will be measured, and the objective is to increase the number of investigations and arrests related to sexual solicitation of a minor and child pornography. The number of cases prosecuted by the Office of Attorney General will track this measure.
In total, the Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit under this administration has prosecuted more than 400 child predators, including 80 in FY 20-21. OAG is on pace for 100 child predator arrests in FY 21-22 and we expect similar arrest numbers for FY 22-23.
Firearms recovered & Firearm-related arrests
Created by the legislature in 2007, the Gun Violence Task Force is a joint, state and local effort between the Office of Attorney General, Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and the Philadelphia Police Department, that investigates the origin of crime guns and targets violent criminal organizations. For the FY 2022-2023, the Office will measure firearm-related arrests and firearm recoveries. The objective of these measures will be to increase the number of violent organizations dismantled by our agents and continue to take illegal guns off the street.
During FY 2020-2021 the Gun Violence Task Force seized 234 firearms, up from 173 in FY 15-16. Additionally, the Gun Violence task Force made 169 firearm-related arrests in FY 20-21, up from 98 the previous year and well above the 133 made in FY 15-16. For FYs 21-22 and 22-23, OAG estimates the task force will recover 290 firearms per year and make 180 arrests per year.