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Between 2017 and 2020, the Pennsylvania legislature spent $203 million in taxpayer money on food, lodging, and other perks for lawmakers and their staff.

On Wednesday, July 28 at 5 p.m., Spotlight PA’s Angela Couloumbis; Sam Janesch, Brad Bumsted, and Mike Wereschagin of The Caucus; and Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, participated in a free Q&A on state lawmaker expenses.

Ethics 02.5.2021

The sons of Minority Leader Jay Costa and Majority Leader Kim Ward are both registered lobbyists with the same lobbying firm, Cameron Companies.

Given Ward’s and Costa’s direct relationships to the top Republican and Democrat in the Senate, respectively, the sons’ clients could get special treatment across the Legislature and a leg-up in getting their legislative priorities across the finish line, said Khalif Ali, the executive director of good-government nonprofit Common Cause PA.

Ethics 08.6.2019

A city of Pittsburgh manager who sold himself a city-owned house for $2,500 violated the Ethics Act and must pay a penalty, according to a state Ethics Commission order issued Monday.

Micah C. T. Sims, executive director of the watchdog group Common Cause Pennsylvania, applauded the commission for the finding of a violation, but wondered whether the remedy was sufficient. “A slap on the hand is nice,” he said. But, he added, “This type of practice cannot continually go on.” He suggested that the city might take the house back and put it “up for sale again through the right process.”

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