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.




letter to editor


You might also like

U-CF School Board caps meeting with an icy challenge

John Sanville accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by donating $100 to ALS research and dumping a cooler of icy water over his head.

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.

  • Longwood Fire Company’s annual open house will be held for the first time under the stars on Thur...


  • Sherry Dinner

    10/23/2014
    07:00pm — 10:00pm

    The Yardley Inn is hosting an exclusive Sherry Dinner on Thursday, October 23, 2014. Enjoy a mea...


  • Zoo Yoga: OM’ing Otters

    10/25/2014
    09:15am — 10:15am

    (Ages 4-7 years old) Weekly Saturdays or Sundays, September-November (Classes held in the Educati...


  • Flying Colors Fine Artists Show and Sale

    10/25/2014
    10:00am — 05:00pm

    Flying Colors will host its Annual Art Show and Sale from October 24 to October 26, 2014 at The M...


  • Saturday Zoo Tales

    10/25/2014
    10:30am — 11:00am

    Join us for a fun, animal or nature themed story and a visit from one of our fun program animals!...


  • ChesLen Chase for Open Space

    10/25/2014
    11:00am

    Get ready to run for nature at Natural Lands Trust’s epic ChesLen Chase for Open Space, with 10K,...


  • Flying Colors Fine Artists Show and Sale

    10/26/2014
    10:00am — 05:00pm

    Flying Colors will host its Annual Art Show and Sale from October 24 to October 26, 2014 at The M...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    10/26/2014
    01:00pm — 04:00pm

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • NEWARK SYMPHONY CONCERT

    10/26/2014
    03:00pm — 05:00pm

    THE NEWARK SYMPHONY PRESENTS “Fall in Italy” Simeone Tartaglione, Music Director Sunday, Octobe...


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

Chester County High School Sports