January 31, 2014 •
Two New Proposals May Clarify Philadelphia Gift Law
Two proposals in Philadelphia could finally establish a dollar limit on gifts to city employees. The city’s Board of Ethics again revised its proposed gift limit to $50 with an outright ban on cash gifts.
The initial proposals allowed for some measure of cash gifts based on interpretation of city law allowing some cash gifts, enraging ethics watchdogs. After a reinterpretation by the city law department allowing the Board to ban cash gifts, the ban was included in the latest proposal. A final vote on the gift regulation is expected at the Board’s February 19 meeting.
The Philadelphia City Council is also considering a gift measure, allowing city officials and employees to accept gifts up to $99. The Council’s proposal also bans all cash gifts.
If the Council passes the gift law, the Board of Ethics will need to restart work on its gift regulation, as it can only pass regulations interpreting city law and may not impose a stricter limit than established by statute. Either way, the city appears to be on track in providing much needed clarification of its gift law.
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