A bill that would ban cash gifts to Pennsylvania legislators was passed by the state Senate on Wednesday.
The bill bans any gifts to state legislators of cash, checks, gift cards or money orders. Such gifts from family members would, however, be exempt from the ban.
Properly reported campaign contributions would continue to be allowed under the terms of the bill, as would any lawful business dealings.
The bill comes on the heels of revelations last month that four Democratic lawmakers took some $16,000 from lobbyists, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The lawmakers were caught on tape taking the money, the Inquirer said.
Current law allows gifts as long as their value is less than $250. Under the terms of this bill, taking a gift with a value of less than $250 would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. Taking a gift valued at more than $250 would be a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to five years.
Senate Bill 1327 was approved unanimously, 49-0. It now goes to the House for consideration.