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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 13, 2015 01:53 PM
From: Senator Thomas J. McGarrigle
To: All Senate members
Subject: Amend Right-to-Know Law to Provide for Commercial Purposes Fees.
It has been brought to my attention that many local municipalities are being inundated with requests for records by companies who seek to use the information to benefit their commercial business enterprises. For example, companies are requesting information regarding homes with septic tanks or pools so they can solicit these homeowners for their services. These voluminous requests create a significant cost to municipal offices, which are often staffed by only one or two individuals and sometimes only on a part-time basis and operating on very tight budgets.

I intend to re-introduce Senate Bill 284 of 2013. This legislation will allow agencies to assess search and review fees for records requested for a commercial purpose. Under the bill, search and review fees would be assessed at a per quarter-hour rate determined by each agency to cover the costs associated with time expended by agency employees in fulfilling a request for records to be used for a commercial purpose. The bill would require requestors to disclose on their written request whether the record will be used for a commercial purpose.

Introduced as SB511