“Moving clean government laws is never easy in the Pennsylvania legislature, but these are four easy pieces of basic reform – truly the low hanging fruit in a large orchard of overdue government reforms” said Common Cause/PA Executive Director Barry Kauffman. With the current legislative session nearly three-quarters completed, and despite ethics scandals rocking the capitol with troubling frequency, the General Assembly still has not passed any significant laws this session to clean up Pennsylvania government.
Two whistleblower bills passed the PA House unanimously in February of 2013, but have languished in the Senate Labor and Industry Committee since. HB-118 would extend Whistleblower Protection to employees of government contractors, while HB-185 would cover employees of the General Assembly.
Meanwhile, bills to provide Online Voter Registration (SB-37) and require electronic filing of campaign finance reports (SB-120) have languished in the House State Government Committee since passing the Senate unanimously in April of 2013. Both of these bills would save the state meaningful amounts of money, make government records more secure and accurate, enhance public access to valuable information, plus the Online Voter Registration bill would make registration much more convenient.
“The General Assembly’s ‘To Do List’ of essential reforms is already overflowing. They need to pass these four no-brainer laws immediately so that they can get down to the seemingly more difficult tasks, such as enacting a gift ban for all public employees, before the November elections” said Kauffman. Common Cause/PA delivered letters to each lawmaker yesterday urging them get these four basic reforms on the books by the end of June.
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Letter to legislators (NOTE: this letter has been reformatted for emailing.)
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.
Office: Common Cause Pennsylvania