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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 7, 2016 10:02 AM
From: Representative Kate Harper
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution directing the Legislative Budget & Finance Committee to review the fiscal impact of the Right-to-Know Law implementation on agencies and local government agencies
In the near future, I plan to introduce a resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a comprehensive review of the fiscal impact on Commonwealth agencies and local governmental agencies for implementation of the Right-to-Know Law and to make recommendations.

While the public certainly needs to have ready access to public records through the Right-to-Know Law, the current process has created a burden for many agencies. Some agencies, in particular the Department of Corrections, receive numerous requests for public records, some of which are voluminous. Other local governments receive repeated requests for info the requestor wants to use for commercial purposes (fence companies requesting names and addresses of people seeking pool permits, for example). After an agency has spent staff time in retrieving records and has incurred the costs of copying the records, the requestor may decide, based upon the cost or for other reasons, to not follow through with payment for the records. An agency, however, has already spent its funds and countless hours of staff time fulfilling the request.

A comprehensive review by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee would be helpful in crafting any future legislation to minimize the burden on Commonwealth and local agencies in responding to requests but at the same time ensure the public continues to have ready access to public records.

Please join me by cosponsoring this important resolution.

Introduced as HR50