Thursday, May 14, 2009
The Associated Press reports that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is considering whether nonprofits should be considered "businesses" for purposes of the state's Ethics Act. The specific issue before the court is whether a statutory requirement that directs government officials to avoid conflicts of interests relating to a business that they or an immediate family members is involved with would bar such officials from approving grants to nonprofit groups that employ a relative. On one side of the dispute is Governor Ed Rendell and two of his cabinet secretaries, who are arguing that this provision was only meant to reach for-profit entities and not nonprofits. On the other side is the State Ethics Commission that came to the opposite conclusion. The Governor's side previously won a split decision in the Commonwealth Court.