Pennsylvania ranks 48 out of 50 states in terms of the strength of its open records law.
The folks at Pass Open Records are working in concert with many pro-transparency people in Pennsylvania to change things.
Legislative hearings in Pennsylvania this week are attracting considerable interest.
As Mark Scolforo’s AP article notes:
The debate in the Pennsylvania General Assembly over potential changes to the state’s primary open records law has focused lately on unintended consequences and worst-case scenarios.
That’s not particularly good news for anyone expecting significant widening of the Right-to-Know Law.
I mostly connect with people who support more robust open records laws and more government transparency.
I’m reminded that it’s a bit of a bubble when I read statements such as this one from President Graham Spanier of Penn State who says that if Pennsylvania beefs up its open records law, Penn State will become less competitive with similar research-oriented universities in other states.
Following President Spanier’s line of reasoning, we should expect that Alabama and South Dakota–the only two states with worse laws than Pennsylvania–should have the most competitive research universities in the country.
President Spanier also chides newspapers:
This bill does far more than feed the prurient interests of newspaper editors who are looking for a headline about how much Coach Paterno makes — as if one could put a dollar value to what he deserves to make based on his contributions to this state since he arrived in Pennsylvania nearly 58 years ago.
I hope that when Penn State negotiates its contract with Coach Paterno, it doesn’t start from the position that it would actually be impossible to put a dollar value on what he deserves to make, especially since he arrived in Pennsylvania nearly 58 years ago.
If I lived in Pennsylvania and read President Spanier’s statement, what I’d want to know is how much President Spanier earns every year.