HARRISBURG – The Senate of Pennsylvania has developed a new reporting system to make all Senate expenses available without additional filing requirements beginning on Sept. 1, Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) said today.
In May, The Caucus, a watchdog publication based in Harrisburg, noted that Phillips-Hill was one of four lawmakers who they determined “exceeds expectations” when it comes to the best combination of transparency and accuracy when it comes to reporting of expenditures.
In the article, The Caucus wrote that Phillips-Hill and Senator Lindsey Williams “were the only legislators in either chamber who posted the actual monthly expense reports from the chamber’s internal computer system.”
Each month, Phillips-Hill lists all expenditures incurred by her office on her website at SenatorKristin.com.
“Transparency is the hallmark of good governance and one that I take very seriously as a state senator,” Phillips-Hill said. “The taxpayers should not have to file a Right-to-Know request to see how their hard-earned dollars are spent in their state government. With the Senate of Pennsylvania taking this much-needed step, we can provide greater oversight and accountability with taxpayer dollars.”
The information will include all office leases, reimbursements, lodging, supplies, mileage, meals, office maintenance, per diems and much more.
Phillips-Hill, who does not accept per diems, said this allows taxpayers to review all Senate expenditures.
The information will be available on Phillips-Hill’s website, which will be updated monthly by the Chief Clerk and will apply to all Senate offices — Republican, Democrat, Independent and institutional.
The Senate’s new expense transparency system will build on existing good government measures in state government, including:
- The state’s PennWATCH system, which includes information on employee salaries, state spending, revenues and more.
- Information on contracts and purchases of $5,000 or more are available via the Pennsylvania Treasury Transparency Portal page – Contracts e-Library Database.
- The Pennsylvania General Assembly website, which includes information on all roll call votes taken in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as upcoming committee meetings, operating rules, proposed amendments, and a live session feed.
- Campaign finance reports and search tools from the Pennsylvania Department of State.