|Posted:||July 20, 2020 01:56 PM|
|From:||Representative Melissa L. Shusterman|
|To:||All House members|
|One of the greatest rights Americans share is the right to petition the government and lobbying allows American citizens to actively participate in the governmental process. Lobbyists allow our government to prioritize competing interests which in turn can lead to a more productive and prudent society.
However, important safeguards must be placed in order to promote transparency and openness. As it stands, Pennsylvania’s lobbying laws fall critically short in terms of promoting said transparency. The principals, rather than the lobbyists themselves, must produce expense reports which fail to provide sufficient details as they relate to their business operations. What’s more, lobbyists are not required to submit any reports related to their business relationships.
With fairness and transparency in mind, I will be introducing legislation which would require lobbyists to provide an extensively detailed annual report which would help provide this necessary data to the General Assembly and the general public. Under this bill, lobbyists would also be required to report their business relationships. Failure to adhere to these stipulations would subject lobbyists and their principals to various fines and penalties.
We should encourage citizens to participate in the governmental process of advocating for their interests. However, we must also ensure that this process is entirely transparent and as fair as possible. I ask that you please consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.