Monday’s news items – 2/17/2020

Next week | Borough meeting on Tuesday, February 25 at 7:00 pm

LEGAL NOTICE | “Sealed bids for the 300 Block S. 2nd Street CDBG Improvements will be received online”; more at the Borough Website.

This “see-er” saw what would happen a hundred years ago | When this evangelist came to Lancaster in the 1920s, one of his messages must have been directed to the old white men in the US Senate; ““Any fool can go with a crowd, but it takes a man with backbone and decision to stand by his principles.”

Well, gollee | “Millions of dollars in Pa. tax credits may not be paying off for taxpayers.”SpotlightPA

head up butt

Pennsylvanians in the dark | “Today, groups or businesses that try to influence elected officials must register with the state and regularly report how much they spend, the lobbyists they employ, and the subject of their lobbying. That’s important information for Pennsylvanians to have.

“But the law continues to have major shortcomings.

“The Washington, D.C.-based Sunlight Foundation gave Pennsylvania a “C” rating in 2015 on its national scorecard for lobbying transparency. Although the General Assembly made some tweaks to the law in 2018 — increasing penalties for groups that fail to register or file on time — major flaws remain.

“Unlike in New Jersey and New York, Pennsylvania lobbyists and lobbying groups do not have to report the bills or lawmakers they’re targeting or the positions they’re advocating for.

And unlike those neighboring states, which require lobbyists to report spending as itemized lists, expenses are reported in Pennsylvania using vague descriptions, like ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ communications. It’s also possible groups are underreporting expenditures, a recent review by a state House committee found.

“Pennsylvania’s lobbying disclosure website, meanwhile, remains slow and cumbersome to use, inhibiting the public’s ability to easily view reports.

“Without better information and better access, the public is left in the dark about how some of the most powerful groups in Pennsylvania and outside of it are trying to shape state policy.” – Spotlight PA



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