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BLOG: We Need Contract Reform To Combat “Pay-to-Play” in PA Government

By: Sophie Stone, Deputy Press Secretary

March 22, 2016

Last week, Governor Wolf outlined his “Government that Works” Reform Plan. Since taking office, Governor Wolf has taken significant steps forward in making Pennsylvania’s government more open and transparent. However, special interests still wield too much power and influence in Harrisburg.

We need to take on the special interests and challenge the status quo. This starts with passing initiatives such as contracting reform.

One significant change to Harrisburg’s status quo could be the implementation of broader “pay-to-play” provisions. The governor is proposing expanding these rules to require the disclosure of campaign contributions made by parties seeking state contracts.

The governor supports efforts that would require businesses that have been awarded contracts to disclose all political contributions made by its officers and employees during the preceding year. These disclosures would be posted on the Department of State website.

Fifteen states and the City of Philadelphia require disclosure of campaign contributions for those seeking public contracts. There have been several proposals in recent legislative sessions that would require companies bidding for state contracts to disclose campaign contributions and prohibit the awarding of a contract for specified types of procurement unless the contractor included with its bid response all contributions made in the past two years.

When Pennsylvania’s democracy works, hardworking Pennsylvanians benefit. Closing loopholes, increasing transparency, and strengthening reform laws will help our government work better — and for more Pennsylvanians across the state.

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