Bans Cash Gifts
HARRISBURG– The state Senate today unanimously approved two measures sponsored by Senator
Lisa Baker (R-20) to ban cash gifts.
first Senate Resolution 339 changes
Senate Ethical Conduct Rules by implementing an immediate ban on cash gifts to
Senators and Senate employees. The
second reform Senate Bill 1327 would
prevent the acceptance of cash gifts for all state and local public officials
and employees. The bill also applies
penalties for violations. It now goes to
the House for consideration.
gifts include United States or foreign currency, money orders, checks, prepaid
debit or credit cards, and gift cards or certificates. Certain exceptions, such as commercial loans,
family gifts, and random drawings, are exempted.
delivered the following floor remarks encouraging affirmative votes:
wrongdoing occurs, Pennsylvanians have become accustomed to hearing a lot of
words and promises about reform. But it
is not so typical to have an understandable and effective remedy developed and
voted so quickly after the trouble comes to light.
approval of this legislation gives hope that an ugly problem is about to yield
a respectable solution.
is nothing complicated about this bill. This sets in law basic ground rules everyone can readily grasp. For individuals and interest groups dealing
with state officials, do not offer cash gifts, or anything resembling
cash. For those holding positions of
public responsibility, if someone offers it, reject it and report the
where most of us believed the system was, until the sting operation proved
otherwise. Now there is no longer
reliance on good faith; there are enforceable penalties for violations.
the conception of this legislation to our action today, the process has been
bipartisan, constructive, and responsive to the public interest. Leaders and members have demonstrated
leadership in direction and action. This
is what people want to see, not just on this matter of reform, but across the
issues we confront. Come together to do
what we must for the public interest.