Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester and Delaware counties, says he’ll revamp his proposed amendments to the right-to-know law.
Pileggi, who authored the law that went into effect in 2009, wrote in a letter to the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association that he’d seen recent editorials that criticized the bill.
“One of my goals in introducing SB 1469 was to start a public conversation about how the new law can be improved,” he wrote. “Naturally, ‘improving’ the law means different things to different people.” (Read the letter here. Scroll to the “Right to Know” section.)
He said some provisions of the bill increased access and some decreased access. Open-records advocates were concerned, for example, that the bill would allow agencies to charge people to look at records. Many agencies complain that complying with right-to-know law requests is too expensive in terms of staff time; but others say charging to view records would limit public access.
Pileggi noted that his bill proposed that inspection reports and documents given out and discussed at public meetings be made public. It also would have added addresses or geographical identifiers to 911 time-response logs. The Daily Record/Sunday News has appealed to Commonwealth Court the refusal by York County to include that information in its time-response logs.
“I plan to introduce a new bill — dropping some of the provisions in SB 1469, and possibly adding others — in January to continue this very important conversation,” Pileggi wrote. “I anticipate a very public, methodical process to advancing that legislation, providing ample opportunity for every interested party to have their views heard and considered.”