Following eight years of former Gov. Tom Wolf’s strict, zero-gift ban, Governor Shapiro ushered in a revised ban last week that loosens some of the restrictions put in place by his predecessor.
The new ban would provide exemptions for small items of hospitality or thanks that include infrequent meals, bottles or water, cups of coffee, plaques or mugs, or other gifts of nominal value.
The relaxed rules are meant to allow Commonwealth employees to feel comfortable meeting with constituents again. “We have to talk again, we have to have meaningful dialogue again,” Gov. Shapiro said in a news conference announcing the revised gift ban.
The new rules keep in place a ban on cash, event tickets, travel, and other larger gifts and applies to approximately 80,000 executive-branch employees who are banned from soliciting or accepting anything above minimal value from people seeking to influence them, such as lobbyists or government contractors.