The sentencing on Monday of a former legislator to prison is another blemish on the state's reputation.
But it also brings hope that seeing their former colleagues behind bars will convince state lawmakers that even they are not above the law.
Former Republican state Sen. Jane Orie was sentenced to 2 to 10 years in state prison for using state employees to do campaign work and forging documents in an attempted cover-up.
Like others before her, Orie apparently believed the law against using state resources or state employees on working time didn't apply in her case.
Clearly prosecutors, judges and jurors - not to mention taxpayers - disagree as the string of recent convictions shows.
Former speakers of the House John Perzel, a Republican, and Bill DeWeese, a Democrat, are among the others who have been convicted of crimes involving using state employees or resources for political gain.
Orie did add another twist when her defense in an earlier trial presented a document in which the signature of her former chief of staff clearly had been "cut and pasted." That forgery resulted in a mistrial in Orie's first trial and a conviction on another charge in her retrial.
The one point of Orie's sentencing that is a concern was a hint by the judge that the former senator might have avoided prison if it weren't for the forgery documents.
Billing taxpayers for state employees doing campaign work is a serious matter and should result in jail time, regardless. Otherwise, it can send a message to other legislators that breaking the law isn't that serious. That attitude is why the problems in the General Assembly got so bad; elected officials thought there were no consequences.
We hope they now know better.
Still to be decided by the judge is how much Orie will have to repay the Republican Senate Caucus for her defense costs and how much she will be required to pay in restitution.
Prosecutors claim Orie should repay the entire $1.3 million of our tax dollars that were used in her defense, and they want her to pay $780,000 or triple damages for the estimated $260,000 benefit she received for using state employees for campaign work.
Pennsylvania needs to throw the book at public officials who break the law. There should be a high price for violating the public's trust.