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05/24/2024 06:43 AM
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: February 24, 2023 09:41 AM
From: Senator Lindsey M. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Requiring the Office of the Chief Clerk to Publicly Post All Legislators’ Expenses
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that requires all legislative expenses to be publicly posted online. Dollars spent by legislators are tax dollars and information about how they are spent should be easily accessible by those who foot our bill. 

Oftentimes, citizens or journalists who want to see how legislators spend their allotted budgets face obstacles in obtaining that information. This legislation will require that the Offices of the Chief Clerk of both the Pennsylvania House and Senate post the expenses of all legislators on a public facing website in an easily searchable format. Per diems, state vehicle usage, and reimbursements for expenses would be included on the website. The legislation will also require that all office, travel, and other expenses that come out of both legislators’ and caucuses’ operating accounts be included on the website. 

While several legislators, including myself, already provide public access to expenses that come out of our office budgets on our websites, there are numerous other expenses that we are unable to account for because they come out of other pots of money. By requiring the Offices of the Chief Clerk to post all expenses, we will be able to provide the public with a full, transparent picture of how their taxpayer dollars are being spent. Additionally, by removing this responsibility from individual legislators, we will ensure a uniform, consistent process among offices.

This bill was introduced as Senate Bill 838 of 2021-2022. It was previously co-sponsored by Senators Phillips-Hill, Fontana, Kearney, Cappelletti, Collett, Muth, Hutchinson, and Schwank.

The dollars we spend as legislators come from taxpayers. Taxpayers deserve transparency in knowing how their money is spent.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important and needed legislation.

Introduced as SB275