HARRISBURG – A package of bills introduced by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) and several of her colleagues would subject lobbyists and campaign consultants to new transparency and ethical standards to limit their level of influence in state government.
Phillips-Hill’s legislation, Senate Bill 802, would prohibit any state entity, including the legislature, from hiring an outside lobbyist or campaign consultant to lobby any branch of government. The bill would also prohibit former lobbyists who become employees of the General Assembly from being lobbied by their previous colleagues for one year after separation from employment. This would prevent the revolving door of individuals leaving a lobbying firm to join the legislature and immediately being influenced by their former coworkers.
“The interest of taxpayers should always be the priority for anyone in state government – from state employees in various agencies to members of the General Assembly. I am pleased to see a coordinated effort to clean up Harrisburg through these commonsense reforms,” Phillips-Hill said. “These measures will restrain the undue influence we have throughout state government and finally put an end to the status quo.”
Phillips-Hill recently unveiled two other proposals seeking to clean up state government, including extending the revolving door to two years and banning state appointed officials from serving as registered lobbyists.
In addition to Phillips-Hill, other Senate Republicans, including Senators Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery) and Tommy Tomlinson (R-Bucks), introduced reform measures.
Other bills in the legislative package include:
Senate Bill 801, sponsored by Mensch, would require lobbyists to register any clients seeking state financial assistance or grants, as well as prohibit kick-backs and inducements for referrals or performance bonuses for a successful application for taxpayer-funded grants.
Senate Bill 803, sponsored by Baker, would prevent lobbyists from also being registered as campaign consultants and prohibits a campaign consultant from lobbying a state official who was a client for the remainder of the term for which consulting services were provided.
Senate Bill 804, sponsored by Tomlinson, would require all registered lobbyists to complete mandatory annual ethics training developed by the Department of State.