Government Reform Caucus Commends House State Government Committee on Approving Stronger Gift Bill
10/6/2014
HARRISBURG, Oct. 6, 2014 — A bill that would strengthen state law regarding gifts to public officials was voted out of a House committee today, according to the Government Reform Caucus, which supports the measure.

The House State Government Committee unanimously approved House Bill 1872.

Government Reform Caucus co-chairs State Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin/York) and state Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland) and members of the bipartisan, bicameral group said the bill and its Senate counterpart Senate Bill 750 should continue to be a top priority for the state legislature as the end of the 2013-14 legislative session nears.

“We commend Chairman Daryl Metcalfe and the members of the House State Government Committee for their leadership on this important issue,” said Teplitz, the founder of the caucus. “This bill, for which the Government Reform Caucus has long been advocating, would improve government transparency and reduce outside influences.”

“Requiring greater disclosure and placing stricter limitations on gifts is a simple and effective way to hold ourselves accountable to Pennsylvania taxpayers,” said Dunbar, the author of House Bill 1872. “We look forward to seeing the legislation move forward to the House floor.”

The bill would amend the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act with regard to financial disclosures. Specifically, it would establish new gift and transportation/lodging/hospitality reporting requirements as follows:
• Any gift valued at over $50 must be reported (current threshold is $250).
• Any expense for transportation/lodging/hospitality valued at over $100 must be reported (current threshold is $650).

Teplitz is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 750, which is sponsored by Sens. John Eichelberger (R-Blair, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon) and Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia). Both bills also encourage voluntary reporting below the new thresholds. Senate Bill 750 is awaiting consideration in the Senate State Government Committee.

The Government Reform Caucus consists of approximately 40 senators and representatives from both parties. Since its inception in March 2013, the caucus has met regularly to develop and promote legislation to reform state government.

Elizabeth Rementer, erementer@pasenate.com, 717-787-6801 (w) / 215-680-4197 (c)
Ty McCauslin, tmccausl@pahousegop.com, 717-772-9979 (w)
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