Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed into law a bill that strengthens the restrictions on lobbying in the state. His approval of the legislation shows his commitment to make the state government more efficient and transparent.
Cong. Bryan Cutler and former Cong. Brandon Neuman introduced the Lobbying Disclosure Act or House Bill 1175 last year. The members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate unanimously voted in favor of the measure.
In a statement, Gov. Wolf said. “I am proud to sign this bill, which is long overdue. By cracking down on special interests, this bill will help to create a more open, honest and transparent government in Harrisburg that is accountable to the people of Pennsylvania.”
Gov. Wolf is rebuilding trust in the state government
Additionally, the governor said he found that special interest had great influence when he arrived in Harrisburg. He emphasized that his administration is working to rebuild trust in the state government.
On the other hand, Cong. Cutler said, “I have been working to pass this bill since my first year in office. I believe this demonstrates how working in a bipartisan fashion can yield great results. It is satisfying to see it become law so we can work to restore the public’s faith in government.”
In addition, Cong. Cutler expressed his gratitude to former lawmaker Neuman for his help and dedication to the legislation. According to him, Neuman’s “efforts and the bipartisan support were instrumental in getting this bill passed and signed into law.” Neuman is now serving as a judge in the Washington County Court of Common Pleas.
Pennsylvania lobbying reporting rules
Under the new law, lobbyists, lobbying firms, or principals are required to electronically file lobbying disclosure reports.
The daily maximum penalty for not filing a report by the quarterly deadline is $50 for the first ten late days. It will increase to $100 per day from late day 11 to 20. The penalty per late day after 20 days is $200. The maximum penalty for violating the law increased from $2,000 to $4,000.
The Pennsylvania Department of State must post all lobbying disclosure reports online within seven days after receiving the filing. The agency normally posts reports filed electronically within minutes of submission.
The electronic filing requirement will be effective in 60 days. The agency will issue e-receipt as proof of filing.