The Pennsylvania Senate is considering a bill to ban cash gifts to lawmakers and other public officials. Credit: Getty Images
A bill that would ban cash gifts to Pennsylvania lawmakers, officials and employees by those seeking to influence public policy is making its way through the state Senate.
The legislation was quickly introduced after reports of a sting in which several Philadelphia Democrats were nabbed accepting cash, according to KYW Newsradio.
The bill has been approved by the Senate's state government committee. It would make it a felony to accept a cash gift of more than $250 and a misdemeanor to accept a gift of less than $250.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester) told KYW Newsradio most state legislators "had no idea that this wasn’t already illegal." Under current state law, lawmakers can accept cash gifts so long as they report them and the gift is not in exchange for official action.
The Pennsylvania House last week approved a rule change that bans its members from accepting most cash gifts.