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March 06, 2012

Pa. Senators Move to Curb Lawmakers' Nonprofit Ties

Hours after a former Pennsylvania representative was convicted of misusing funds he steered to a nonprofit organization, a state Senate committee endorsed a move Monday to limit legislators' ties to charitable groups, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

The provision, preliminarily approved 15-0 by the Rules Committee, would bar senators and their family members from being affiliated with nonprofit entities that receive state funds. The full Senate is scheduled to vote on the rule change Tuesday.

Mike Veon, ex-Democratic whip of the Pennsylvania House, was found guilty Monday of misusing grant money allocated to the Beaver Initiative for Growth, an organization Mr. Veon co-chaired, and to which he directed $10-million in public money over a decade.

Prosecutors said Mr. Veon used the organization's money to pay for two legislative offices in his Western Pennsylvania district and a Pittsburgh office used by a Democratic staff member, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 22-year legislator, who was voted out of office in 2006, is already serving time for an unrelated 2010 corruption conviction.