City Council May Ban Cash Gifts for City Employees

The bill, supported by Philadelphia City Council president Darrell L. Clarke, would also cap total gift value at $99.

Sunlit Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Council President Darrell L. Clarke and City Councilman Bill Green are pushing a bill that would ban cash gifts to city employees and officials and cap the total value of gifts at $99 a year. City employees and officials and councilpeople can currently receive cash gifts, because of course they can. (In reality, the City Code is vague on the issue.)

The Inquirer‘s Claudia Vargas calls the discussion over the ban on gifts “heated”; previously, the city’s Ethics Board had said cash gifts could not be completely banned.

Some excerpts of the bill introduced Thursday: “No member of Council or other City officer or employee, shall solicit, accept or receive . . . gifts worth more than $99 in the aggregate per calendar year or any gifts of money.”

The bill would also explicitly allows gifts of lodging, admission to “major life event[s]” and free admission to political events—as long as they are not solicited.

[Philadelphia Inquirer]

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  • RightsTough

    Are you kidding me? Currently the statute allows these types of gifts? No wonder graft is so pervasive in this city. Gee, I wonder if “kickbacks for contracts” is a problem in Philly? Next thing you know buildings will just start falling down!

  • Ljensen

    Wait, we don’t want to hold our elected officials to the same standards as the rest of us, do we? Where’s the fun in that?

  • Bob Dobolino

    Are we going to get a list of cash payments they have received in the past? Is that how one goes about have a city councilperson introduce legislation on their behalf?