HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee today in Harrisburg voted to advance legislation introduced by local state Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne) that would prevent lobbyists from offering gifts to public officials or public employees.
“My bill would prevent lobbyists from influencing public officials and public employees by giving them valuable gifts,” Kaufer said. “This is a commonsense step we can take to promote integrity in government and enhance public trust in the system.”
Kaufer’s bill specifically would prohibit lobbyists from providing public officials or employees with lodging and sleeping accommodations, food and beverages, transportation, and recreation and entertainment.
“Pennsylvanians deserve a government that works for their interests rather than the special interests represented by lobbyists,” Kaufer said. “I believe most public officials are compensated well enough to pay for their own meals, accommodations, transportation and entertainment.”
Kaufer’s legislation – House Bill 1009
– would prohibit any such gifts valued at more than $250 in the aggregate during a calendar year.
The bill provides commonsense exemptions for spouses, parents, siblings, children and other family members of public officials and public employees.
Lobbyists who violate the new rules outlined in Kaufer’s bill would be subject to a civil penalty plus the value of the gift.
Kaufer’s bill would take effect 60 days after it is approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by the governor.
The bill now heads to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
More information about Kaufer is available at RepKaufer.com
and on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepKaufer
Representative Aaron Kaufer
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing