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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: August 18, 2016 02:58 PM
From: Senator Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Gifts from Friends Disclosure on Financial Interest Statements
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would require gifts from “friends” to be disclosed on financial interest statements.

In order to ensure the public trust, elected officials must be held to the highest ethical standards when disclosing their financial interests, including gifts from friends. When extravagant gifts are bestowed upon elected officials under the guise of “friendship,” and those gifts also fail to be disclosed, our ability to lead with integrity and honesty is irrevocably sullied.

Section 1105 (b)(6) of the Pennsylvania State Ethics Act provides that the sources and amounts of gifts from a single source over $250 be disclosed. The same section provides exceptions to this disclosure, including “friends” who are not registered lobbyists or employees of registered lobbyists.

My legislation would remove the “friend” exception altogether, leaving only the current exceptions from disclosure for gifts from family members.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation to ensure a greater public trust and more transparent disclosures from all elected officials in Pennsylvania.