Resolution is first step in expansive lobbying reform package
HARRISBURG – Ensuring that the voices of the people of Pennsylvania are not silenced by those who try to pay for access and influence, a key component of a package of legislation that would establish new rules for lobbyists in Harrisburg passed the House of Representatives today with bipartisan support.
“If people can’t believe in the process, they will never have faith in the outcomes,” Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) said. “This resolution urges the state courts to take immediate action to increase transparency and public trust in all branches of our government, including the judiciary.”
Under current court rules and decisions, lobbyists who are also lawyers have a separate set of rules.
House Resolution 114
would urge the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to immediately take steps to bring the court’s rules in line with that of other regulated lobbyists in the Commonwealth by doing the following:
• Make statements of financial interest available on a publicly accessible internet website.
• Require more restrictive rules on gifts, transportation, lodging and hospitality.
• Impose on attorneys leaving government service a one-year ban from lobbying the governmental body which the attorney had been associated.
• End the practice of judges and justices receiving honoraria.
• Conduct a full examination of ethical and financial reporting requirements for judges, justices and employees to determine whether additional changes to those requirements would promote greater transparency and further avoid both impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.
The resolution is part of a 12-bill lobbying reform package that recently passed the House State Government Committee. Additional bills await consideration by the full House.
“All lobbyists, regardless of background or credentials, should be held to the same level of accountability,” Cutler added. “I urge the courts to take these steps today to ensure our systems are operating to the ethical standards the public expects and promotes a culture of transparency every Pennsylvanian deserves.”
Speaker Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Mike Straub