HARRISBURG – The PA Senate passed legislation banning cash gifts to lawmakers and government officials from anyone seeking to influence public policy. Senate Bill 1327 applies penalties for violations. Senators also approved Senate Resolution 339 which changes Senate Ethical Conduct Rules by implementing an immediate ban on cash gifts to Senators and Senate employees. Lancaster County Sen. Lloyd Smucker, a co-sponsor of the bill, calls this a good start for reform. The bill would make accepting cash or gifts similar to cash of $250 or more would be a felony. Amounts less than that would be a misdemeanor. The bill would not change the broader ethics law that lets Pennsylvania lawmakers and the governor accept any amount of non-cash gifts, such as dinners, trips or event tickets, although such gifts could violate conflict-of-interest laws. Some legislators have called for a broader such ban. The measure now goes to the state House.