Skip to main content

Gifts to legislators must be stopped

07/30/2014 02:52PM, Published by Lev, Categories: In Print, Opinion



Letter to the Editor:

Giving gifts to legislators is big business in our Commonwealth. Pennsylvanians were rightfully outraged when they learned legislators were accepting cash gifts, and it was all done legally.

Under current Pennsylvania law, any gifts of any value can be given to legislators. Legislators only need to disclose gifts valued at over $250, or transportation and lodging valued at over $650. They can take anything that is offered, including cash. This practice is counter to the principles of good government and must be stopped.

Legislators are paid well to do their job. They should do the job they are paid to do without accepting gifts from those who want to influence state policy. Accepting expensive gifts, travel, and envelopes of cash gives well-funded and powerful lobbyists unequal access to the legislature and influences law creation. It dilutes the power of the people's voice.

Groups, schools, and nonprofits will often give a hat, T-shirt or coffee mug to a legislator to thank him or her for a visit. These small tokens of appreciation are given with all good intentions and not meant to sway a vote.

The House once again failed to write a law to end the practice, or take even one small step to bring ethics to state government.

If I am elected, I will work with other reform-minded legislators to bring accountability and transparency to Harrisburg. I would suggest that a small gift threshold, not to exceed $25 in value, be allowed per person or organization per year. Even these small gifts should be disclosed in public documents.



Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline



letter to editor


You might also like

Dinniman announces recycling grant for Franklin Township

State Senator Andy Dinniman announced that Franklin Township will receive $3,073 in state funding to support its recycling efforts.

  • Oliver

    11/23/2014
    03:00pm — 06:00pm

    3-time Tony Award winning musical Oliver leaves you begging "for more"! Oliver Twist is a youn...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Thanksgiving Dinner

    11/27/2014
    01:00pm — 07:00pm

    The Yardley Inn is hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, Thursday, November 27, 2014. Enjoy the special fe...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

Chester County High School Sports