Nov. 08, 2021 / Newspaper Columns

By State Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) 

A package of lobbyist reform bills to improve openness and transparency, limit lobbyist influence and ensure ethical conduct of all lobbyists operating in Pennsylvania is advancing in the House of Representatives.

If adopted into law, the measures would represent the first major reform to the Commonwealth’s lobbying laws in 15 years.

One of the bills would prevent lobbyists from offering gifts to public officials or public employees, including lodging and sleeping accommodations, food and beverages, transportation, and recreation and entertainment. It also would prohibit any gift valued in the aggregate at $250 or more in a calendar year.

Other proposals would require lobbyists to report every dollar spent, removing the current threshold of $2,500; disclose and register any lobbying client conflicts with the Department of State; file annual statements of financial interests like those already filed by public officials and employees; report payments to or from other lobbyists for the referral of clients; and complete annual mandatory ethics training.

The package also includes bills to require campaign consultants to register with the Department of State and prohibit them from lobbying the state official for whom they served as a consultant and prohibit any state agency or entity from hiring an outside lobbyist. Additionally, restrictions would be placed on lobbying new employees of the General Assembly or executive departments or agencies who were previously registered lobbyists.

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
717-260-6136
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil


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