Senate Bill 413 – OOR Testimony

Open records_logo stackedSenate Bill 413, introduced by Senator Rich Alloway, would extensively revise provisions related to the practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies, establish the Office of Administrative Hearings, and extensively revise provisions on judicial review of Commonwealth agency action.

The Senate State Government Committee, chaired by Senator Mike Folmer, held a public hearing this week on SB 413.

I provided this written testimony to the committee, emphasizing the unique nature of the Office of Open Records — that the vast majority of our cases involve people who are not represented by an attorney. As established in the Right-to-Know Law, the OOR’s appeal process was always intended to be simple, inexpensive, and relatively quick.

Senate Bill 413 – Written Testimony

Senate Bill 411 Advances

Senate Bill 411 (sponsored by Sen. Dominic Pileggi), legislation which would amend the Right-to-Know Law, was approved by the Senate State Government Committee (chaired by Sen. Mike Folmer) today.

This bill will make a number of improvements to the law. This cosponsorship memo, circulated by Sen. Pileggi, includes a good summary.

SB 411 was amended to include, essentially, the contents of Senate Bill 412 (sponsored by Sen. John Blake), which will make much more information from Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities — Temple (as a Temple grad, I always list the Owls first), Penn State, Pitt, and Lincoln — easily accessible online. A technical amendment was also adopted.

This is the first step in the legislative process for SB 411, so there’s a long road ahead. It’s almost certain that additional amendments will be considered in the future.