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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 9, 2015 04:19 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Financial Interest Statements for Judicial Candidates
Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation introduced as Senate Bill 474 in the 2013-2014 legislative session. The bill was co-sponsored by Senators Kasunic, Brewster, Fontana, Yudichak, Erickson, Eichelberger, Folmer, Alloway, Solobay, Baker, Smith, Rafferty, Smucker, Vogel, Washington, Ferlo, Waugh, Hughes, Brubaker, Browne, Tartaglione, Farnese, and Boscola.

The Ethics, Standards and Financial Disclosure Act (65 Pa.C.S. Ch. 11) contains a loophole that excuses certain judicial candidates from filing financial interest statements with the State Ethics Commission. Specifically, judicial candidates who currently hold a judicial office but seek election to a judicial office with a court other than the court on which they currently serve are not required to file such financial interest statements.

This provision deviates from the requirement that persons who are candidates for judicial office for the first time—that is they are not seeking retention for the same office—are required to file such financial interest statements. Additionally, persons who are nominated to fill a vacancy for judicial office and subject to confirmation by the Senate are likewise required to file a financial interest statement.

The legislation I am proposing will require the filing of such statements with nominating petitions pursuant to 65 Pa.C.S. § 1104 if the person currently holds a judicial office but is seeking election to a judicial office with a court other than the court on which the judicial officer currently serves.

Please join me by co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB507