WTAS: “Don’t do it. Don’t veto this bill.”
– The number of media outlets and organizations that support Rep. Seth Grove’s (R-Dover) House Bill 2463
, which received unanimous support in the Pennsylvania Legislature, to ensure Right-to-Know (RTK) requests are answered has grown exponentially.
Gov. Tom Wolf has said he intends to veto the transparency bill.
“Pennsylvanians have made their voices known. They believe government must be open and willing to answers questions, especially during trying times. The governor must sign House Bill 2463,” Grove said. “The freedom of the press is an ideal we hold dear and must be defended.”
In addition to members of the General Assembly, numerous organizations and newspapers have given their support of the bill. Here’s what they are saying:
“As a public official, you’re either for transparency or against it—there’s no sometimes. The Right-to-Know law isn’t about the person currently in office and their option to do with it as they please. The Right to Know is a public right to question the government and get answers. Our right. We thought Gov. Wolf understood that.” PennLive editorial board (Harrisburg)
“HB 2463 strikes the right balance between flexibility regarding operational challenges and the public's right to oversee the work of its government. The bill adheres to the existing procedures of the Office of Open Records and, because it retains all the normal exceptions to disclosure under the Right to Know Law, it would not risk violating any personal or constitutional privacy protections.” The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania
“HB2463 prohibits the Governor from using a disaster declaration as a reason to ignore/deny public records requests. These are vital tools for holding government officials accountable--which is especially critical during times of state and nationwide disasters.” Americans for Prosperity – Pennsylvania
“Our message to Gov. Wolf is straightforward: Don’t do it. Don’t veto this bill. Wolf vowed to make transparency the guiding principle of his administration. This bill advances the cause of transparency.” Lancaster Online
“Wolf should sign the bill or allow it to become law without his signature. If he vetoes it, the Legislature should override it.” The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizen’s Voice
“Frankly, the administration's defense is bogus pretext. What's clear is Wolf has no interest in a public vetting of his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.” York Dispatch
Representative Seth Grove
Pennsylvania House of Representatives