Gift ban urged over report of lawmakers given cash

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The head of Common Cause Pennsylvania is renewing a call for a ban on gifts to public officials following news reports that four state lawmakers accepted money during a criminal investigation.


Executive director Barry Kauffman said Thursday that a “seemingly unending litany of abuses of power” makes people cynical about the integrity of state government.


The state Ethics Act bans gifts that are given to influence an official’s decisions. Public officials must disclose gifts that aren’t from family or close friends and are worth $250 or total $650 in a given year.


Kauffman says lobbyists give gifts “for one reason. It works.”


The National Conference of State Legislators says many states put the greatest restrictions on gifts from lobbyists to legislators.


No charges have been filed in the investigation.


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