When one hears about state pay-to-play reform efforts underway along the “Northeastern Corridor”, it’s only natural to look first to the news wires in New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. In recent weeks, however, we have begun to see momentum building behind new pay-to-play legislation in the neighboring jurisdictions of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
The only consistent element one can discern from state and local pay-to-play enforcement is that municipal approaches to enforcement vary widely. Local legislation and enforcement is driven far more by politics and past scandal than a desire to afford the regulated community with consistent national application. Recently, this blog engaged in something of a back and forth with the public interest group CityEthics.org over realistic approaches to pay-to-play enforcement. Trenton, New Jersey’s City Hall and Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives now offer the most recent embodiment of these tensions.