Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Bill Stops Traveling Games

Despite Governor Ed Rendell’s administration-wide ban on out-of-state traveling last fall, it was recently discovered through a WTAE investigative report that Pennsylvania Gaming Board members had traveled to other sections of the country as well as abroad after the ban was enacted. Local lawmakers are looking to remedy the situation.
State Representative Mike Vereb and Senator Jane Orie today announced a joint legislation to require all government branches and state agencies to submit a list of all out-of-state travels and associating costs, including attendees and receipts. That list would then be submitted to the Pennsylvania Treasurer’s Office, who will then organize a web site to publish these reports for public viewing.
Senator Orie says the money was not coming from taxpayer dollars. However, the money could have been used elsewhere, such as going toward reducing property taxes. She says those members plainly violated the governor’s orders, and traveled to Illinois, Florida, California and Nevada. Internationally, they went to Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and Italy. They spent lavishly on hotel rooms and meals, and Senator Orie says it’s inappropriate and uncalled for. She says she hopes that her proposed bill will restore public trust in state agencies and government.

To see WTAE’s investigative report, click here.

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