|Posted:||January 24, 2017 11:23 AM|
|From:||Representative Anthony M. DeLuca|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Outside Income Disclosure (HB 1985 of 2016)|
I will be re-introducing HB 1985 of 2016. The growing influence of money in Pennsylvania elections -- particularly that of special interests -- has made the wealthiest voices the loudest and the ones with the most influence and access to government officials in Harrisburg. The extent to which these powerful and influential special interests have become entrenched in Pennsylvania politics is one of the primary reasons for the inability to reach a solution to our historic structural budget deficit.
In an effort to bring public trust back to elections and to make our government more accountable to the people and not the special interests, I will be introducing a new version of my legislation to require additional financial disclosure by elected officials and public employees. Specifically, my legislation would require individuals filing a statement of financial interest to list not only the source of any outside income, but also the amount.
Comprehensive financial disclosure of outside income helps public officials and employees avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest, and reassures the public that officials and employees are working for them, not for special interests or other outside groups in which they may have a financial interest.
Unfortunately, Pennsylvania's current system only requires individuals to list the sources of outside income on their statements of financial interests -- not amounts. This lack of disclosure creates cynicism and the perception that government is broken in Pennsylvania, and not responsive to the people.
My legislation (HB 1985 of 2016) would bring Pennsylvania in line with other states that require public officials and employees to report a ranged amount for their outside income, as well as the sources. The bill is modeled after a Hawaii statute. Specifically, individuals would be required to disclose, for each source, which of the following ranges their outside income falls under:
$1,000 - $74,999;
$75,000 - $99,999;
$100,000 - $149,999;
$150,000 - $249,999;
$250,000 - $499,999;
$500,000 - $749,999;
$750,000 - $999,999; or
More than $1 million.
These new outside income reporting requirements are being introduced as part of a legislative reform package being advanced by House Democrats, which will improve transparency in our state and limit the influence that wealthy individuals, corporations and other special interests have in our politics. They are an overdue, key component of returning control of politics and state government to the people of Pennsylvania.
I invite you to co-sponsor this legislation.
Introduced as HB949