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

May 23, 2017

An officer stands guard in front of House State Government Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe's office as demonstrators seeking a ban on gifts to lawmakers protest in the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, May 23, 2017. 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. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — 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 two demonstrators who were arrested on two straight days were 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.

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