Bizzarro introduces bill banning payment for serving on boards

HARRISBURG, April 11 – State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro, D-Erie, has introduced legislation that would remove perceived conflicts of interest for public officials and employees serving on corporate or non-profit boards outside of government service.

Bizzarro's H.B. 1981 would prohibit public officials and employees from receiving any salary or compensation for serving on a corporate or non-profit board. However, the public official or employee still would be permitted to receive reimbursement for actual expenses that are provided to other board members.

"Pennsylvanians whose taxes pay the salaries and other compensation of elected officials and public employees expect those individuals to be responsive to their needs, not to special interests or other private groups," Bizzarro said. "Unfortunately, the growing influence of money in our elections and government has made the wealthiest voices the loudest and the ones with the most influence and access to government officials in Harrisburg.

"We, as public servants, have an obligation to our constituents to ensure that we are just as responsive to the needs of Pennsylvanians and their families, as we are to a corporation or special interest group."

The bill is introduced as part of a legislative reform package being offered by House Democrats to improve transparency in government and reassure the public that the public officials they elect, and the people they employ, are working in the best interests of the public and not special interests and other outside groups whom they currently believe have undue influence and access.