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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2014 09:48 AM
From: Senator Dominic Pileggi
To: All Senate members
Subject: Closing a Loophole Regarding Lobbying for Contingent Fees
I plan to introduce legislation which will close a loophole allowing lobbyists to collect a contingency fee for grants, loans, capital projects and other awards of Commonwealth funds.

It is currently illegal in Pennsylvania to lobby on a contingency-fee basis for the passage of legislation or an amendment, the adoption of regulations, etc. However, current law does not prohibit lobbying for contingency fees when a grant, loan, or other form of funding is sought from the Commonwealth.

Research from the National Conference of State Legislatures reveals that 43 states prohibit the practice of contingency-fee lobbying – and that most states prohibit contingency-fee lobbying for both legislative and executive action, including grants, loans, and other forms of funding.

NCSL also notes that “Federal regulations governing contractors who lobby for government contracts specifically prohibit contingency fees on the grounds that they may induce lobbyists to exert ‘improper influence’ on public officials, in other words, inducing someone to act on any basis other than the merits of the matter.”

This legislation will be similar to Senate Bill 199 (printer’s number 148) from the 2013-14 legislative session.

Introduced as SB388