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05/27/2024 05:43 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=41107
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: June 26, 2023 04:07 PM
From: Representative Kate A. Klunk and Rep. Ryan Warner
To: All House members
Subject: Strengthening the Right to Know Law for State-related Universities
 
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation to bring greater transparency to the records of our state-related universities (Penn State, Pittsburgh, Temple, and Lincoln).
 
Under the current law, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), and the Commonwealth’s community colleges are all subject to the provisions of the Right-to-Know Law. However, the four State-Related Universities are specifically exempt from certain provisions of this law, even though they annually receive taxpayer funding. 

Our 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 the state’s Right to Know Law.

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. This legislation is not intended to undermine important elements of their operations or missions, and greater transparency will not undermine their competitive position or economic impact.
 
Please join us in cosponsoring this legislation to bring greater transparency to our State-Related Universities. Thank you.
 



Introduced as HB1556