State Rep. Seth Grove announced that the Senate unanimously approved House Bill 2463 to require state agencies to answer questions from the public, and particularly the media, during emergency declarations.
The bill, created by Grove, has been sent to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.
“People always say they support transparency and accountability, but few support transparency and accountability on themselves. Gov. Tom Wolf has the opportunity, by signing House Bill 2463 into law, to show he fully commits the executive branch to a higher standard of openness,” Grove said.
“This is a legacy decision, which will, without a doubt, solidify him as truly the most open and transparent governor in the history of Pennsylvania. I strongly encourage him to sign the bill.”
If it becomes law, Grove’s bill would require state agencies to respond to Right-To-Know Law requests.
In case of closure of state offices, agencies must follow procedures established by the nonpartisan Office of Open Records.
The governor’s office, as well as several state agencies, did not answer questions posed in Right-To-Know Law requests by the media and the general public as required by law during closures resulting from the governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Citizens have a constitutional right to question their elected officials and government, even in times of crisis,” Grove said. “This is a core principle of our nation and our Commonwealth. It must be defended and held in high regard.”