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Tobash: State House Moving on Reform Measures

The state House began voting today on its first bills of the 2011-12 legislative session, and the focus is squarely on reform, said Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Berks).


“It’s only fitting that our first order of business be focused on improving transparency and accountability in government,” Tobash said. “As lawmakers, we must do good work for the people of this Commonwealth. Restoring the people’s trust is the foundation of good government.”


The state House on Monday took up a half dozen bills aimed at holding government accountable for and shedding light on its actions.


Recognizing the volume of taxpayer money that goes toward state contracts, lawmakers are working to improve that process by enhancing the public review of contracts not awarded by a competitive bid process. House Bill 108 allows for that review prior to execution of the agreement. Additionally, House Bill 107 prohibits an employee of the administration who previously worked for a company bidding on a state contract from participating in the evaluation of that proposal.


Other measures increase fines and penalties for lobbyists who fail to abide by the state’s lobbying laws; prohibit lawmakers from starting nonprofit organizations that receive public funds; and extend whistleblower protections for state employees and employees of private sector and nonprofit organizations with state contracts who report waste of public money.


Tobash said the bills were debated and, in some cases, amended on Monday. A final House vote on the measures is scheduled for the week of Feb. 7.


State Representative Mike Tobash
125th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact:  Patricia Hippler

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