Philadelphia isn’t funding ethics reform

    Law requires lobbyists to register and report spending

    On Thursday, Philadelphia became one of the last major cities in the country to force lobbyists to register and report on their activities. City Council passed the long-awaited legislation. But it could be a while before the public gets to access the information.

    Wondering how much money changed hands in City Hall to kill the soda tax bill? Now, the new law should make sure that information is easily accessible online. But the database required to make this information available is unfunded.

    Shane Creamer is the executive director of the Ethics Board, which will have to create and maintain a website that publishes the information.

    “We have told the Administration and Council to create, and implement the data base and another $250,000 a year to staff and maintain the data base,” says Creamer.

    Creamer says his staff of seven people would not be able to handle the job.

    The law requires lobbyists to file quarterly reports on any money used to influence legislation and zoning decisions.

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