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PRINTER'S NO. 3000
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
2115
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY BERNSTINE, KAIL, ZIMMERMAN, GROVE, KAUFFMAN,
GAYDOS, GILLEN, IRVIN, MILLARD, LAWRENCE, HERSHEY, RADER,
BARRAR, MOUL AND KEEFER, DECEMBER 9, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT, DECEMBER 9, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 65 (Public Officers) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in ethics standards and financial
disclosure, further providing for definitions, for restricted
activities, for statement of financial interests, for State
Ethics Commission, for powers and duties of commission, for
investigations by commission and for supplemental provisions.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definitions of "public employee" and "public
official" in section 1102 of Title 65 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes are amended and the section is amended by
adding a definition to read:
§ 1102. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the
meanings given to them in this section:
* * *
"Public employee." Any individual employed by the
Commonwealth [or], a political subdivision or a State-related
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institution who is responsible for taking or recommending
official action of a nonministerial nature with regard to:
(1) contracting or procurement;
(2) administering or monitoring grants or subsidies;
(3) planning or zoning;
(4) inspecting, licensing, regulating or auditing any
person; or
(5) any other activity where the official action has an
economic impact of greater than a de minimis nature on the
interests of any person.
The term shall not include individuals who are employed by this
Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, or a State-
related institution, in teaching as distinguished from
administrative duties.
"Public official."
(1) Any person elected by the public or elected or
appointed by a governmental body or a State-related
institution or an appointed official in the executive,
legislative or judicial branch of this Commonwealth or any
political subdivision thereof, provided that it shall not
include members of advisory boards that have no authority to
expend public funds other than reimbursement for personal
expense or to otherwise exercise the power of the State or
any political subdivision thereof.
(2) A trustee of a State-related institution.
* * *
"State-related institution." Any of the following:
(1) Temple University.
(2) The University of Pittsburgh.
(3) The Pennsylvania State University.
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(4) Lincoln University.
Section 2. Sections 1103(f) and (g), 1105(b)(7), 1106(d)(4),
1107(13), 1108(k)(7) and 1111 of Title 65 are amended to read:
§ 1103. Restricted activities.
* * *
(f) Contract.--No public official or public employee or his
spouse or child or any business in which the person or his
spouse or child is associated shall enter into any contract
valued at $500 or more with the governmental body or a State-
related institution with which the public official or public
employee is associated or any subcontract valued at $500 or more
with any person who has been awarded a contract with the
governmental body or a State-related institution with which the
public official or public employee is associated unless the
contract has been awarded through an open and public process,
including prior public notice and subsequent public disclosure
of all proposals considered and contracts awarded. In such a
case, the public official or public employee shall not have any
supervisory or overall responsibility for the implementation or
administration of the contract. Any contract or subcontract made
in violation of this subsection shall be voidable by a court of
competent jurisdiction if the suit is commenced within 90 days
of the making of the contract or subcontract.
(g) Former official or employee.--No former public official
or public employee shall represent a person, with promised or
actual compensation, on any matter before the governmental body
or a State-related institution with which he has been associated
for one year after he leaves that body.
* * *
§ 1105. Statement of financial interests.
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* * *
(b) Required information.--The statement shall include the
following information for the prior calendar year with regard to
the person required to file the statement:
* * *
(7) The name and address of the source and the amount of
any payment for or reimbursement of actual expenses for
transportation and lodging or hospitality received in
connection with public office or employment where such actual
expenses for transportation and lodging or hospitality exceed
$650 in an aggregate amount per year. This paragraph shall
not apply to expenses reimbursed by a governmental body or a
State-related institution or to expenses reimbursed by an
organization or association of public officials or employees
of political subdivisions which the public official or
employee serves in an official capacity.
* * *
§ 1106. State Ethics Commission.
* * *
(d) Prohibited activities.--No individual while a member or
employee of the commission shall:
* * *
(4) directly or indirectly attempt to influence any
decision by a governmental body or a State-related
institution other than a court of law or as a representative
of the commission on a matter within the jurisdiction of the
commission; or
* * *
§ 1107. Powers and duties of commission.
In addition to other powers and duties prescribed by law, the
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commission shall:
* * *
(13) Issue findings, reports and orders relating to
investigations initiated pursuant to section 1108 which set
forth the alleged violation, findings of fact and conclusions
of law. An order may include recommendations to law
enforcement officials. Any order resulting from a finding
that a public official or public employee has obtained a
financial gain in violation of this chapter may require the
restitution plus interest of that gain to the appropriate
governmental body or State-related institution. The
commission or the Office of Attorney General shall have
standing to apply to the Commonwealth Court to seek
enforcement of an order requiring such restitution. This
restitution requirement shall be in addition to any other
penalties provided for in this chapter.
* * *
§ 1108. Investigations by commission.
* * *
(k) Confidentiality.--As a general rule, no person shall
disclose or acknowledge to any other person any information
relating to a complaint, preliminary inquiry, investigation,
hearing or petition for reconsideration which is before the
commission. However, a person may disclose or acknowledge to
another person matters held confidential in accordance with this
subsection when the matters pertain to any of the following:
* * *
(7) testifying under oath before a governmental body or
a State-related institution or a similar body of the United
States of America;
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* * *
§ 1111. Supplemental provisions.
Any governmental body or State-related institution may adopt
requirements to supplement this chapter, provided that no such
requirements shall in any way be less restrictive than the
chapter.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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