|Posted:||March 2, 2021 11:11 AM|
|From:||Representative Liz Hanbidge|
|To:||All House members|
|The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the ability for an individual or a group to lobby the government. Through this process, citizens advocate their interests and push forward ideas that they feel best benefit their community.
To protect this freedom to lobby the government, we need to restrain those individuals who would take advantage of it, namely those who know “the game” the best – former members of the General Assembly. By law, former representatives and senators in Pennsylvania are not permitted to lobby before the legislative body they served in for one year after leaving office. Once that time has passed, they are permitted to utilize relationships forged during their time in office to lobby on behalf of corporate interests before the very entities that distribute their health benefits and pensions, often while collecting a large paycheck.
It is time that we end this “double dipping” conflict of interest. I am proposing legislation that would allow former members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to continue lobbying activities after leaving office; however, members elected after this legislation is enacted would not receive their pension or health benefits for any calendar year in which they lobby before their former legislative body.
This legislation is one small step in restoring some semblance of fairness and balance in lobbying. I would appreciate your consideration.