23 arrested in state Capitol in protests over gift-ban bill

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Nearly two dozen people have been arrested inside the Pennsylvania state Capitol as protesters seek to push forward a ban on gifts to lawmakers.

Capitol Police spokesman Troy Thompson says the 23 arrested Monday face charges of disorderly conduct, a summary offense.

The March on Harrisburg demonstrators say they want a gift-ban bill that’s been sitting in the Republican-controlled House State Government Committee since January to move forward. Demonstrators chanted, “Drain the swamp” and “People in, money out.”

Unlike most other states, Pennsylvania doesn’t limit how much in gifts lawmakers may receive. Lobbyists routinely dole out free meals, drinks and even tickets to expensive sporting events and recreational opportunities.

Such bills have been introduced before and seen no action. Gifts to state employees under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf are banned.

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