Bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state senators to introduce ethics bills

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Harrisburg -- In the wake of a recent grand jury report that depicted a widespread culture of corruption in operations at the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a bipartisan group of state senators announced this morning they will introduce legislation aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in state government.

The package of nine bills would require the reporting of all gifts to state legislators and members of the executive office; prevent lobbyists from owning a portion of a gaming license; prohibit lobbyists from working as a campaign manager or political consultant for a candidate; and require the state to post online the final scoring of all qualified vendors who submitted a bid on a contract, among other requirements.

One bill would suspend the salaries of legislators, cabinet members, the governor and lieutenant governor if the General Assembly fails to pass a budget on time.

"Reform, openness, transparency and accountability in government. We've spoken these words many times, we hear them all the time, but I think we put them into action far less than we should," said Sen. Mike Stack, D- Philadelphia, speaking at a press briefing in the Capitol Rotunda. Mr. Stack is sponsoring the legislation with Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair.

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Kate Giammarise: kgiammarise@post-gazette.com or 717-787-4254.


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