PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The mayor and City Council are about to complete a brand new set of restrictions on lobbyists to shore up some problems with the original bill approved last year.
City Council last week gave final approval and sent to the mayor a second bill putting restrictions on lobbying in Philadelphia. The first law was viewed as overly broad by many, including the Bar Association, which had threatened to fight it in court. This version more narrowly defines lobbying activity.
The sponsor, Councilman Bill Green says, the new bill also expands the number of agencies covered under the existing law, “It did not include the School District for example, or the RDA (Redevelopment Authority) or PIDC (Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation). And there’s a lot of money flowing through those organizations that people are lobbying to get a hold of. And now we’re going to get to see who’s paying who to do that.”
The measure requires lobbyists to register with the city and document expenditures, including wining and dining of public officials.
Green says this bill covers lobbying, not just of City Hall, but also state agencies that operate in the city like SEPTA. “If you are lobbying them, you are required to register, you are required to tell us what you are lobbying on, and there will now be complete transparency with respect to who’s working for whom, doing what.”
Mayor Nutter is expected to sign the bill.
The city Ethics Board, which will administer it, says the registration software is not ready and there’s no timetable yet for implementation.
Reported by City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060