HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania House Democrats on Monday unanimously opposed House Bill 1893
, legislation sponsored by Rep. Craig Staats (R-Bucks) that would provide public transparency to data collected by the Department of Health under the Disease Control and Prevention Law by making such data and information subject to the Right to Know Law.
All Pennsylvania House Republicans voted in favor of the legislation.
In speaking in support of the legislation on the House Floor, House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) noted the legislation is necessary following the Wolf administration’s repeated obstinance in providing accurate data during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have known that the sharing of information—good data transparency—builds trust and informs those whose lives are impacted by government decisions. Unfortunately, the administration has been less than forthcoming with a lot of this and we've really had to wrestle with them to get a lot of this data," Benninghoff said during House debate.
"At the end of the day data drives science—accurate science. If we want to have accurate science, we need to have accurate data."
Unlike what Democrats tried to argue on the House Floor, the bill would not allow the release of personal and private health information, which is already protected under federal health privacy laws and the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.
House Bill 1893 now heads to the Senate for consideration.
House Republican Caucus
Pennsylvania House of Representatives