HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — An open records bill is now heading to the state House for general consideration.
The legislation would shorten the amount of time a Government agency has to give public information to lawmakers from open record requests. The agencies would be required to provide a final answer on the records request within five days, eliminating the 30-day extension permitted under current law.
State Rep. Frank Burns says the bill’s bipartisan support and fast-tracking is a sign that his fellow legislators recognize its value and the impact it could have for public transparency.
“As lawmakers we are routinely forced to make decisions that affect people across Pennsylvania, and it is our job to make the most informed decisions possible on behalf of the people we represent,” Burns said. “My bill simply shortens the timeline an agency has to provide public information to lawmakers; therefore, this change would benefit all Pennsylvanians.”
The bill does not change what information is considered public and doesn’t impact people who use the law to access public documents. However, if an agency denies a request, an elected official could appeal to the state Office of Open Records.
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Burns introduced the legislation on April 7 with the hopes of taking it all the way to the state Supreme Court.