Cutler Legislation Would Add Teeth to Lobbyist Disclosure Law

Bill would increase maximum fines and lobbying prohibition 

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously passed Rep. Bryan Cutler’s (R-Peach Bottom) legislation to increase penalties for lobbyists who fail to properly register or report in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Lobbyist Disclosure Law. 

“This legislation is about continuing the reform movement that was started last session,” said Cutler.  “It was a victory when the Lobbyist Disclosure Law was passed, but we have seen cases of lobbyists ignoring the law, failing to register and writing off the fine as the cost of doing business.  I think this legislation will add some teeth to the law so it will not be overlooked.” 

House Bill 1434 would increase the maximum administrative penalty that may be imposed by the State Ethics Commission for violations from $2,000 to $10,000 and the maximum lobbying prohibition from five to 10 years.  In cases of negligent failure to register or report, the penalty would jump from $50 per day to $250 per day. 

Additionally, the legislation upgrades the offense of intentionally failing to register or report or for filing a false report from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.  Lobbyists and principals intentionally violating the act could be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor and face fines up to $100,000, with a 10-year lobbying prohibition. 

“Our government is supposed to be about the people, not the special interests,” said Cutler.  “The Lobbyist Disclosure Law was adopted to bring greater openness to our government, so the people will have better insight into how our laws are made and which interests are advocating certain positions.  The people have the right to know this information and it is our responsibility as lawmakers to ensure our laws are effective in accomplishing this task.”  

Rep. Bryan Cutler
100th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(717) 786-4551
(717) 783-6424
Contact:  Nicole Wamsley or (717) 783-8063
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