March 12, 2013 •
Pennsylvania Bill Proposes Gift Limit on Lobbyists
The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has introduced a bill with ramifications on the way lobbyists do business in the commonwealth. Currently, lobbyists may give gifts to anyone, provided there is no understanding the recipient will take an official action as a result of the gift. House Bill 855, however, would do away with this practice and limit the ability of lobbyists to give gifts.
The bill, introduced by representatives from both sides of the aisle, would prohibit public officers and candidates from receiving gifts from lobbyists and principals exceeding $50 in a calendar year. The bill would also limit the hospitality received by public officers and candidates from lobbyists and principals to $500 in a calendar year.
Gifts to public officials has become a hot topic in the commonwealth after reports surfaced saying Governor Tom Corbett has accepted gifts in the past.
When asked whether the governor would support a gift ban, spokeswoman Kelli Roberts said, “Governor Corbett has a tremendous record of transparency and enacting state government reforms, therefore, of course, he would be open to discussing any measures that help to further those goals.”
Bills of this nature usually have a tough time gaining legislative approval, but with the current climate in the commonwealth, House Bill 855 may have a better chance to survive than most.
Seal of the State of Pennsylvania art by Henrik on Wikipedia.
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