House Approves Cutler and Neuman Legislation to Improve Government Transparency
10/7/2015
HARRISBURG – To improve government transparency, Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) and Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-Washington) drafted legislation that would enable the Ethics Commission to more fully address lobbying violations. The House passed the bill unanimously today.

“Transparency is a key to gaining public trust, and House Bill 1348 would improve transparency of those who work to influence state government,” said Neuman. “The bill earned bipartisan support and updates as well as stiffens penalties for those not heeding Pennsylvania’s lobbying disclosure law.”

House Bill 1348 would increase fines and penalties for violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act. It would increase the maximum penalty imposed by the Ethics Commission from the current fine of $2,000 to $4,000. The bill also would increase the maximum administrative penalty that may be imposed for negligent failure to report under current law from $50 per day, to $50 for the first 10 days, $100 for each late day after the first 10 late days and $200 for each late day after the initial 20-day period.

“It is imperative that lobbyists continue to be ethical,” Cutler said. “We must have the ability to protect the integrity of the law-making process. With the passage of this bill, we are one step closer to ensuring the highest trustworthiness and credibility in the Commonwealth,” Cutler added.

Additionally, the bill would improve the current electronic filing system for lobbyists. It would require all filings to be posted on the Department of State’s publicly accessible website within seven days of receipt. Currently, lobbyists do not receive an electronic receipt after they file, but the bill would require that they be provided email proof or a time-stamped receipt.

As House Bill 1348 was passed in the House, it now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206
aevans@pahousegop.com
RepCutler.com / Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler
Twitter.com/RepBryanCutler
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