- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Wolf’s first two executive orders are now in place, within a couple hours of taking the oath of office.

Wolf signed the orders Tuesday after holding the first full meeting of his cabinet.

One is a gift ban that bars any executive branch employee or official from taking or soliciting anything of value. Like the pre-existing code, it has an exception for gifts given by friends or relatives.

There are no limits on gifts that lawmakers may accept.

The other order requires that hiring outside lawyers to handle state business go through a competitive bidding process. Wolf says the process in the past was “overly casual.” It has an exception for situations where it isn’t feasible, for instance, if it is urgent.

He says he wants to have standards that make the process open and transparent.

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