Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Troubles For The Pennsylvania Legislature

WTAE-TV, Team 4, and Jim Parsons out of Pittsburgh put together an eye opening report on outside income and financial interests. The investigation found that many of our legislators have conflicting roles due to outside income from private sources that appear to conflict with the public's interest.

Pennsylvania's state Legislature continues its string of bad news that started with the midnight pay raise fiasco several years ago.

After that, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency debacle, then the indictments in Bonusgate, and last week, the conviction of Sen. Vince Fumo on corruption charges.

Now, a Team 4 investigation finds many of our full-time legislators in Harrisburg get outside income from private interests -- and sometimes, those interests can conflict with the public's.

Remember, we pay our state lawmakers a minimum of almost $80,000 each to represent us full-time -- but our Team 4 investigation found a majority of lawmakers report income from at least one other source.

And in reading through this annual financial interest statement for each state lawmaker, we also discovered something else: More than one-third of state senators and a quarter of House members sit on legislative committees that oversee the industries from which those same lawmakers reported receiving income, owning stock or serving on a board of directors.

Can you believe there is no law against these practices.

Here are links to the Senate Excel files and the House of Representative Excel files compiling the Statements of Finanacial Interests for the legislative Members.

No comments: