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Recent reforms have improved Pennsylvania’s public records law and lobbyist disclosure requirements. But other issues – such as a lack of campaign contribution limits – persist. Read more from SII State Reporter Peter Durantine.
Ever since Bugsy Siegel opened the Flamingo Hotel in 1946 and launched the Las Vegas Strip, gambling has held a tenuous position in American life, suggesting glamour, wealth, depravity and corruption all at once. Now that casinos have spread throughout the nation and allegedly shed their mafia ties, a new branch of the industry is fighting for legitimacy here.
Las Vegas-based casinos and overseas operators have begun an all-out battle over Internet gambling, which is mostly banned nationwide but carries with it the promise of billions of dollars in additional revenue for casinos and state governments. Three states began licensing online betting last year, and lawmakers are debating online gambling bills in seven others right now. In Washington, meanwhile, Congress is facing increasing pressure to either bar or regulate the fledgling industry federally.
State integrity news for Pennsylvania, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Shortly before the April primary election, the Department of State received 1,700 campaign finance reports. While some were filed electronically, the remaining 1,300 reports, submitted on paper, were sent to a company for data entry. A portion were not posted online until after the election.
That would change under a proposal, supported in concept by Gov. Tom Corbett and leaders in both chambers, to require electronic filing for campaign finance reports to the Department of State.
Read the rest of the story at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
State Integrity news from Pennsylvania from SII partner WHYY:
The Pennsylvania Legislature is acting to give citizens a better look at who funds political campaigns in the state.
A measure requiring electronic filing of campaign finance reports appears headed for passage in the State House, at least in part because Gov. Tom Corbett wanted more information about his opponent's backers in the 2010 governor's race.
Read and hear more from WHYY - Philadelphia.
State integrity news for Pennsylvania, from Essential Public Radio:
Former Pennsylvania Senator Jane Orie has been sentenced to serve between 2 and a half to 10 years in prison. The Republican from McCandless was convicted in March of using her legislative staff to do campaign work, and for forging documents to cover up the criminal activity.
The judge will decide within the next 30 days what monetary penalty Orie must pay. That number could go as high as $2 million in legal fees and restitution to the state.
Read the rest of the story at Essential Public Radio.
By Caitlin Ginley
Early last month, lawmakers in Iowa completed work on a new open records statute. Senate File 430 creates the Iowa Public Information Board, a nine-member commission charged with enforcing the state’s open records and meetings laws.
For good government advocates in the Hawkeye State, the new legislation was cause for celebration — sort of.
Indeed, there were smiles all around as Gov. Terry Branstad signed the law on May 3 in the ornate Capitol Building, surrounded by lawmakers and journalists — many of whom spent six years on the effort. And the law is undoubtedly a victory of sorts for open government in the state, where enforcement was spotty at best, divided among several local and state entities. If a citizen’s request for information was denied, the only option was to sue — a time-consuming and costly course of action. Now, the Board can investigate complaints and bring them to court on citizens’ behalf.
It all sounds good — except for the fine print.