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Pa. lawmaker wants to end cash gifts to legislators - abc27 WHTM

Pa. lawmaker wants to end cash gifts to legislators

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

A state senator from Lancaster County is going to propose an absolute ban on legislators accepting cash gifts.

Republican Lloyd Smucker is backing the bill, which he says is long overdue in Pennsylvania.

"You think it would be a given that we already have a law like this place," he said. "You have to today disclose gifts above $250, but you can still take it. That was thought to be sufficient, but recent cases have clearly shown that is not so."

Smucker is referring to the case of three state Liquor Control Board officials accepting thousands of dollars worth of trips, gifts and tickets and the case of five Philadelphia-area Democrats, including four state lawmakers, allegedly being caught on tape accepting money or gifts.

"There can absolutely be no good from a cash contribution being taken by an elected official," Smucker said.

Smucker says it's a great first step toward stronger ethics laws in Pa. and he's not alone.

"That legislation to stop gift giving has to happen this April and it can with the impetus right now. Citizens have to call their legislators and demand it," said political activist Gene Stilp, who is asking the U.S. Attorney and the U.S. Attorney General's office to look into the case of the Philly officials in what he is calling "bribe-gate."

The case was dropped by Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

"We're also asking right now that these legislators save the Pa. taxpayers time. Just resign," said Stilp. "Just walk away. You've done wrong, let other people fill their shoes."

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