|Posted:||December 7, 2016 01:59 PM|
|From:||Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Strengthening the Right to Know Law for State-related Institutions|
|In the near future I will be reintroducing legislation (HB 1094 2015-16) to amend the Right-to-Know Law (Act 3 of 2008) to bring greater transparency to the records of our State-Related Universities (Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple, and Lincoln).
Specifically, my legislation will significantly increase the amount of university personnel salary information that must be disclosed. The bill will also provide access to budgetary and contract information in user-friendly, searchable online databases. The legislation will not affect existing, statutory exclusions related to privacy or similar legal protections required under law.
It is important to note that Pennsylvania is one of only three states in the nation that explicitly exempts such universities from open records provisions – Alaska and Delaware the other two. For most of the nation, state-funded universities’ records are presumed open or have been judicially confirmed as open.
Our institutions of higher learning are powerful engines for the state’s economy. They are world class institutions and we need to ensure they remain so. My measure to expand the extent to which the state-related institutions are subject to the Right-to-Know Law will not undermine key and important elements of their operations or mission and they are not intended to undermine their competitive position or economic impact. There is, however, plenty of room for improvement in the level of transparency and accountability we can expect from these institutions.
Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.
Former Cosponsors: BLOOM, COHEN, CONKLIN, D. COSTA, DeLUCA, FEE, GILLEN, A. HARRIS, IRVIN, JAMES, KAUFFMAN, KLUNK, MARSICO, McNEILL, MILLARD, MOUL, MURT, PICKETT, ROEBUCK, STAATS, TOEPEL and WATSON
Introduced as HB1297