Blogging for reform in Pennsylvania

Newspapers around Pennsylvania take note of new sunshine blog, Pass Open Records.

Allentown Morning Call: New blog is tool to open public records.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Newspaper group pushes for broader open records law.

The Citizen’s Voice: Pennsylvania needs more open records.

Doubt the effect of public scrutiny on government operations and public officials’ conduct?

Consider the results of a court case brought by several news organizations against the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, over its refusal to disclose details of its spending by appointed agency officials and state lawmakers who sit on the PHEAA board of directors.

The courts forced the public agency to release public information that detailed lavish spending well beyond the appropriate purview of a public agency. PHEAA since has adopted a code of ethics and spending regulations.

Those pushing sunshine reforms in Pennsylvania note that their laws are among the worst in the nation, earning an “F” and beating out only Alabama and South Dakota.

One purpose of the new blog is to allow anyone in Pennsylvania who has struggled with getting records from a public agency a forum where they can share their story.

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