McKeesport – August 25, 2020 – State Sen. Jim Brewster’s (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) call for legislative reforms including a ban on gifts for lawmakers was endorsed today by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Wolf unveiled his governmental reform and broader issue agenda for the fall and the gift ban was included among items cited by the governor. Brewster has called for the gift ban in addition to eliminating taxpayer-funded legislative per diems and car leases.
“Several years ago, I authored a package of legislative reforms including a ban on gifts for lawmakers — plus the elimination of per diems and car leases –because I thought it was the right thing to do to protect taxpayers,” Brewster said. “My effort to push these reforms forward has been well received by taxpayers in my district and throughout the state.
“The fact that the governor renewed his call for legislative reform will hopefully give my legislation the push it needs to ultimately become law.”
Brewster first introduced the reform package in the 2015-16 Senate session. His bill to ban legislative gifts was re-introduced this session as Senate Bill 646. Brewster’s bill to end legislative per diems for lawmakers is Senate Bill 644, and his proposal to do away with taxpayer-funded car leases is Senate Bill 645.
“I have been a staunch advocate for these reforms for years,” Brewster said. “Removing the access to gifts and per diems will help make government more transparent and accountable.”
Brewster said he looks forward to debating his reform proposals when the General Assembly reconvenes in September.