Transparency in state spending is crucial to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent as wisely and efficiently as possible. We are continuously looking for ways to cut costs and increase accountability to taxpayers, and I believe it is important to demonstrate that commitment.
My current salary is $95,432. I have introduced legislation to permanently suspend legislative pay raises.
Mileage and Expense Reimbursement
I submit receipts for reimbursement of the actual expenses I incur while performing my duties as a legislator, rather than accepting per diem payments.
When I first took office, we conducted a fiscal analysis and determined that it was more cost-effective to secure transportation through the state fleet, rather than seeking travel reimbursement.
I have two district offices: one in Dallas and one in Hawley. The monthly rent for each of these offices is $2,512.86 and $622.73 respectively. The Hawley office rent includes utilities. Utilities at the Dallas office cost an additional $199.62 a month.
Reducing Government Costs
I have supported reductions in the operational costs of the General Assembly. Since 2007, the fiscal year in which I took office, the percentage of the annual general fund budget for Senate operational costs have remained steady.
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Open Records Law
Pennsylvania’s Open Records Law makes many government records easily available to interested residents. Information about how to request records from any state executive branch office or local government office is available from the Office of Open Records. Information about requesting records from the Senate, the House, and the state Judiciary is also available.
Online Contract Database
Pennsylvania’s new Open Records Law also created an online contract database. State contracts valued at $5,000 or more are included in this database, which can be searched by agency, contracting party, contract amount, date, and subject matter.
Online Budget Database
PennWATCH is an online state budget database designed to make details of state spending easily and freely accessible.
Sunshine Law: Tougher Penalties
Act 56 of 2011 strengthens penalties for violating Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Law, which requires public access to open meetings and the opportunity for public comment.
Senate Rules of Ethical Conduct
On June 15, 2010, the Senate adopted a set of Rules of Ethical Conduct to make the division between legislative and campaign work clear, to provide annual ethics training, and to establish strong penalties for violations.
Independent Fiscal Office
Pennsylvania’s Independent Fiscal Office prepares annual revenue estimates, provides an annual assessment of the state’s fiscal condition, develops performance measures for state programs, and analyzes tax and revenue proposals made by the Governor or the Office of the Budget. More information is available at the IFO’s website.
Lobbyist Disclosure Reports
Pennsylvania’s Lobbying Disclosure Law requires lobbyists and principals to file quarterly reports. The Department of State maintains an online database of lobbyists, principals and the required reports.
Statements of Financial Interest
The Governor, members of the General Assembly, and other public officials are required to file Statements of Financial Interest with the State Ethics Commission and are available for public inspection.