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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 14, 2017 03:40 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Closing a Loophole Regarding Lobbying for Contingent Fees -- Former SB 388
I plan to re-introduce legislation proposed by Senator Pileggi last session as Senate Bill 388. The bill 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.”

Please join me by co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB532