Giving Pa. lawmakers a little push

    Legislative proposals at the top of the government reform agenda have stalled in Pennsylvania House and Senate committees this year.

    But, sometimes, all it takes it a little encouragement. To that end, Common Cause PA director Barry Kauffman said he’s sending letters to all state lawmakers about a few bits of low-hanging fruit ripe for picking this month.

    There’s a bill stuck in the House State Government Committee since April that would require candidates for elected office to submit their campaign finance reports electronically – which stands to be a big money-saver for the state, Kauffman said.

    “Then they don’t have to hire lots of people to do data entry,” said Kauffman. “And, of course, when you have people doing data entry, and they can’t necessarily read the handwriting, you get lots of errors.”

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    Also in the House committee is a measure to allow online voter registration – something that’s helped other states cut their registration processing costs cut by more than 50 percent, according to Kauffman.

    On the Senate side, the Labor and Industry Committee has been sitting on two measures since February that would extend whistle-blower protections to government contractors and employees of the state Legislature who report bad behavior.

    Lawmakers are in session every week this month.

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