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Governor Wolf Says Ethics Reform Plan Will Strengthen Public Trust In State Government

PA Internet News Service
Governor Tom Wolf with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald at the County Courthouse in Pittsburgh on Monday, March 12, 2018.

Governor Tom Wolf proposed an ethics reform package Monday that includes a complete gift ban for elected and new campaign finance laws that would strengthen money disclosure requirements for candidates.

Wolf is also proposing that if lawmakers don't pass a budget by the annual July 1 deadline, pay will be suspended for himself, lawmakers and their top aides. This deadline has been missed by state lawmakers the last three years.

"This proposal enforces strict standards on how Harrisburg really should operate," Wolf said. "And it will, I think, do a lot to rebuild trust in government."

Wolf said some of the requirements outlined in the plan are already in place in the state executive branch.

"We have two jobs, one is to pass legislation, but we're also stewards of a grand democratic tradition," he said. "If people are cynical about their government, if people don't trust their government, that's bad for everybody."

The Republican-controlled legislature would have to pass the plan for it to go into effect.

In 2015, the Center for Public Integrity gave Harrisburg's system for discouraging corruption an "F," based on markers including political financing and legislative accountability.