Soon, there's a chance none of Pennsylvania's lawmakers will be able to accept cash gifts.
On the heels of , the spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Philadelphia, said that chamber could take up a similar rule next week.
The reforms come in the wake of a scandal in which
Senators Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne, and Lloyd Smucker, R-Lancaster, are introducing legislation that would from anyone but a close relative, and only when it is clear that the motivation for the gift is personal.
Similar bills have been proposed in the House. While the legislative process works out, Pileggi spokesman Erik Arneson said the Senate will consider imposing the rule for Senators and Senate staff.
Under current ethics law, public officials in Pennsylvania can accept cash gifts, provided they report "any gift or gifts valued in the aggregate at 0."
The new House rule only bans cash gifts, not gift cards or checks. The idea was to act immediately to ban cash gifts, something many members assumed was already illegal rather than wait for legislation to bounce back and forth between chambers, said House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin.
Members are waiting to see what else can be learned from the Philadelphia scandal and wether existing legislation should be changed or new laws drafted, Miskin said.
The Governor, Lieutenant Governor and any state employee on the division chief level or above is already banned from accepting cash gifts, said Jay Pagni, spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett.
"The governor is fully supportive of the efforts of the legislature to restore the public's trust in its government," Pagni said of the efforts to ban cash gifts.
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