By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Following reports that several members from Philadelphia were caught in a sting accepting payments (see related story), state House leaders today issued a ban on accepting most cash gifts for its members and employees.

The Pennsylvania House is banning cash gifts except those from family members or non-lobbyist friends in circumstances where the motivation was clearly personal.

The action was ordered by the speaker and the two floor leaders of each party. Steve Miskin, spokesman for Republican majority leaders, admits that the new rule is the result of the sting operation.

“It is. I mean, you’ve got to remember the vast majority of members, it never even occurred to them that it was legal to begin with. So this is now putting into place some immediate action,” he told KYW Newsradio today.

In the state senate, a possible rule and statute will be proposed next week.

Meanwhile, several Pennsylvania news operations are seeking to have a judge unseal secret records in the case that ensnared five Philadelphia Democrats.


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