HARRISBURG -- As a member of the state House last year, pushed for passage of a bill creating a new Public Integrity Commission. Though the proposal never gained enough traction to become law, Yudichak hasn’t given up.
Now as a member of the state Senate, he’s once again given his support as a cosponsor to a bill seeking to create the new bipartisan commission.
“I am pleased to join this bipartisan effort to restore the public trust and integrity to government,” Yudichak said at a Capitol news conference Tuesday that included six legislators from both sides of the aisle and both chambers. “We must strive for greater transparency, accountability and public openness to government at all levels.”
The bill, which has companion legislation in the House – House Bill 1200 -- would establish a seven-member commission that would have law enforcement and subpoena power. It would replace the state Ethics Commission and expand its scope. The commission would have no more than three members of the same political party, meaning those registered as a member of a third party, such as Green, Libertarian, or Constitution, would also have a seat at the table.
Under the proposal, The Public Integrity Commission would:
· Uncover and investigate public corruption at all levels and in all branches of government within the commonwealth.
· Serve both a law enforcement role (as a criminal justice agency) and an educational role with respect to corruption in Pennsylvania.
· Work cooperatively with other law enforcement entities.
· Take over the current duties of the Ethics Commission regarding financial interest statements and conflicts of interest.
“The people of Pennsylvania demand and deserve greater accountability from all levels of government,” Yudichak said. “If we are to be truly responsible stewards of the public’s trust, we must make the processes of government more transparent, we must take the lead and the Public Integrity Commission is a big step in that direction.”
To read the complete story, see Wednesday's edition of The Times Leader.