YORK – Legislation authored by Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-York) requiring the online publication of expenses for legislators passed the House of Representatives unanimously today.
“Our system of government cannot survive if citizens do not have access to information regarding the actions of their elected officials and are able to hold them to account,” said Gillespie. “Transparency in our actions is essential. The necessity for transparency extends to the expenditures of our offices.”
House Bill 2449
would require the chief clerk and the comptroller of the House of Representatives to provide a quarterly list of expenses to be published online. Published expenses would include, but not be limited to:
• Per diems for each member of the House of Representatives.
• Travel expenses.
• Administrative, clerical- and professional services for legislative business.
• Rent for legislative office space, office supply purchases, postage, phone services,
printing services- and office equipment rental.
Published information would include the date the expense was paid, to whom the expense was paid, the amount of the expense, and the nature of the goods, services- or other purpose for which the expense was made and the names of the individuals requesting and authorizing the expense.
Gillespie, who has been publishing his expenses online for years, noted, “Citizens have a right to know how we are spending their tax dollars. And in the information age, that access should be simple, straightforward and unencumbered.
“Legislating and governing is not for the faint-of-heart, and we are subject to criticism regularly, and that is to be expected given the decisions we must make. However, my legislation helps rebuild this small piece of the foundation of trust on which our system of government relies,” concluded Gillespie.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Keith Gillespie
Pennsylvania House of Representatives