Increasing Transparency in State Government

HARRISBURG – Potential revisions to the Right to Know Law, which allows for Pennsylvania residents and organizations to request information about the operations of state and local agencies, the General Assembly, the judiciary, and state-related universities, were the subject of a hearing of the Senate State Government Committee today, according to Senator David G. Argall (R-29), the chair of the committee.

“Every Pennsylvanian has the right to know what actions their state government is taking,” said Senator Argall.  “Today’s hearing was incredibly valuable as the committee continues to review ways to further improve the transparency of all governmental bodies in Pennsylvania.”

The committee heard testimony from a variety of stakeholders including the Office of Open Records, local school boards, local government officials, and the media.  The Right to Know Law has not been significantly updated since its original enactment in 2008.  Many testifiers discussed gaps in the original law that have caused issues for their organizations.

Testifiers also discussed the dramatic increase in right to know requests since the COVID-19 pandemic began and noted that the crisis highlighted areas that could be improved in the current Right to Know Law.

The committee is expected to consider the three bills reviewed in today’s hearing, Senate Bill 488, Senate Bill 492, and House Bill 2524, in the near future.

 

Contact: Jim Brugger

717.787.2637