Pa. House leaders impose ban on most cash gifts

    Leaders of both parties in the Pennsylvania House have banned most types of cash gifts in response to recent allegations that some state representatives accepted cash from a confidential informant in a criminal investigation.

    The House Bipartisan Management Committee on Wednesday issued an “action in writing” saying cash gifts are now prohibited as an “unwarranted privilege or exception” under the Legislative Code of Ethics. Cash from non-lobbyist family members is allowed.

    The one-page document was approved by the House speaker and the floor leaders and whips of both parties.

    A spokesman for House Speaker Sam Smith says the move is in response to reports in The Philadelphia Inquirer that four members accepted payments from a lobbyist wearing a wire for the state attorney general’s office. No one has been charged.

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