News

Pennsylvania Senate passes bill banning cash gifts

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 9, 2014 1:35 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Legislation to punish lawmakers and government officials for accepting cash gifts from anyone seeking to influence public policy has the approval of Pennsylvania state senators.

pa-capitol.jpg

The unanimous vote today sends the bill to the House. It follows allegations last month in a Philadelphia Inquirer report that several House members accepted cash from a confidential informant in a criminal investigation.

The bill would make accepting cash or gifts similar to cash of $250 or more would be a felony. Amounts less than that would be a misdemeanor.

The bill wouldn't change the broader ethics law that lets Pennsylvania lawmakers and the governor accept any amount of non-cash gifts, such as dinners, trips or event tickets, although such gifts could violate conflict-of-interest laws.

Some legislators have called for a broader such ban.

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