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00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f771360000Keystone Crossroads: Rust or Revival? explores the urgent challenges pressing upon Pennsylvania's cities. Four public media newsrooms are collaborating to report in depth on the root causes of our state's urban crisis -- and on possible solutions. Keystone Crossroads offers reports on radio, web, social media, television and newspapers, and through public events.Our partner stations are WHYY in Philadelphia, WPSU in State College and witf in Harrisburg. Read all of the partner stories here.Pittsburgh’s WQED joins the collaboration as an associate partner. Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

As Lawmakers File Pricey Gift Disclosures, Reform Feels Like A Long Shot

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AP
Pennsylvania has one of the loosest gift disclosure laws in the country.

Harrisburg lawmakers accepted over $145 thousand in hospitality, gifts, and other travel in 2016, according to recently-filed financial interest disclosure forms.

The commonwealth has one of the loosest laws for reporting those gifts in the country.

The filings are coming as advocates across the state make a renewed push to get lawmakers to impose regulations on the amount of money they can take.

Republican Representative Rick Saccone, of Allegheny County, said regulations governing what needs to be reported--like dinners--are also loose.

"We all get things from lobbyists and so forth," he said. "That's the culture up there."

Lawmakers are currently only required by law to report gifts worth $250 or more, or $650 from a single source on multiple occasions.

Saccone is sponsoring a measure to limit gifts. That bill has been the main subject of protesters' frustration because it spent this whole session--and last session as well--stuck in the House State Government Committee.

Butler County Republican Daryl Metcalfe is chair there, and he hasn't seemed inclined to move the bill.

Saccone is on the committee too, and said he's not hopeful much will change.

"I'm afraid that if that bill was brought up today in our committee, I'm not sure it would pass," he said, adding that he thinks it's a common sense reform--one that would likely pass if it ever made it to a full House vote.

"My colleagues will say, well Rick, you know my constituents aren't asking me about this. They aren't complaining about this," Saccone said. "And I say, that's because they think it's already the law. They're assuming we don't do these things."

Metcalfe didn't respond to a request for comment.