More arrests in state Capitol in protests over gift-ban bill

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Five more people have been arrested inside the Pennsylvania Capitol on the second day of demonstrations for a ban on gifts to state lawmakers.

Police arrested demonstrators Monday in the office of House State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican.

Capitol Police spokesman Troy Thompson says they’re being charged with disorderly conduct, a summary offense, for refusing to leave Metcalfe’s office. Thompson says those arrested two straight days also will be charged with defiant trespassing, a misdemeanor.

The March on Harrisburg demonstrators say they want a gift-ban bill that’s been sitting in Metcalfe’s committee since January to move forward. Group members say Metcalfe refuses to meet.

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