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Gov. Wolf Urges Comprehensive Gift Ban

Governor Tom Wolf issued the following statement today following House State Government Committee approval Monday of House Bill 1009, sponsored by Rep. Aaron Kaufer, which provides a limited gift ban applying only to gifts from registered lobbyists to state elected officials and state employees. A loophole would allow legislators and state employees to receive gifts from businesses and individuals who have business before the government who are not registered as lobbyists.

“The day I took office in 2015 I issued an executive order banning executive branch employees from accepting gifts, which the Pennsylvanian Turnpike Commission, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and many other entities beyond the executive branch have also now instituted.

“That new standard of accountability remains an important step to restore faith in government and has worked successfully for more than seven years.

“I am pleased the House is considering a bill to ban legislators from receiving gifts, however, I agree with legislators on both sides of the aisle who expressed during committee that this bill should be strengthened to more broadly ban gifts beyond only gifts from registered lobbyists.

“Enacting a broad gift ban for the legislative and executive branches is in the best interests of Pennsylvanians, and I will continue working with the legislature to enact comprehensive reform.”