What is the hold up on a gift ban for Pennsylvania Legislators?
By: Robert Zeigler
Kerry Benninghoff, Republican majority leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, is now the only person standing in the way of the bi-partisan and extremely popular gift ban bill for our legislators.
This important anti-corruption measure was approved in October 2021, when the House State Government Committee approved House Bill 1009 out of committee.
This bill restricts lobbyist gifts to legislators, and while it still permits businesses and individuals to provide gifts; however, this bill would be a good start to removing corruption from our government.
As the majority leader, Benninghoff sets the agenda for the House by deciding on which bills can make it to the floor for discussion, debate, and votes.
By willfully ignoring this legislation, Benninghoff is the person preventing any gift ban from being placed on legislators.
This is a pattern for Benninghoff. In the 2019-2020 session a stronger gift ban bill (House Bill 1945) was put forth and passed in committee, only to fail to be brought up for discussion on the House Floor.
During this time, Benninghoff was the Majority Whip and failed to use his influence to get that bill onto the floor to reduce the threat of political corruption.
Do people have faith in Benninghoff’s ability as Majority Leader to get the job done?
If Benninghoff has the political will to take some potential corruption out of Pennsylvanian politics, then he would bring forth this bill and set it on the agenda because that is his job. Why won’t Benninghoff work against political corruption?