HARRISBURG – Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) is calling on Gov. Tom Wolf to sign a bill that would ensure Right-to-Know requests are handled promptly during declared disaster emergencies.
House Bill 2463
was introduced in response to the governor’s decision to give his office and others in state government a pass when it comes to responding to such requests from the media, public and state lawmakers. The bill passed both chambers unanimously.
“Now more than ever, Pennsylvanians deserve openness and transparency from their state government. Our citizens know that. Every member of the House and Senate – regardless of political party – knows that,” Owlett said. “Apparently the governor is the only one who thinks it’s OK to keep Pennsylvanians in the dark about the data and information he and his administration use to make decisions about our schools, our businesses, our families and our lives.
“Gov. Wolf needs to do the right thing and sign this bill immediately,” he said.
House Bill 2463 specifically prohibits the governor from directing a Commonwealth agency to ignore requests for records or suspend the agency’s process to answer a request for records during a disaster declaration. Agencies would also be prohibited from suspending their processes and could find themselves in court if they fail to respond.
“The governor’s claims that the bill would require release of a person’s health information or a business’s intellectual property are nothing more than excuses. The Right-to-Know law prohibits the release of that type of information and this bill will not change that,” Owlett said. “Do the right thing, governor, and sign the bill.”
Representative Clint Owlett
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler