HARRISBURG – With Gov. Tom Wolf threatening to veto a bill designed to strengthen the state’s Right-to-Know law, Fayette County Republican lawmakers are urging him to instead sign the measure. Reps. Ryan Warner (R-Fayette/Westmoreland), Matt Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) and Bud Cook (R-Washington/Fayette) issued the following statement:
“For the last four months, the governor has made decisions that have had a profound and often devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of our citizens. He shut down our schools and businesses, and then let some of those businesses reopen. He told everyone to stay home. He sent COVID-19-positive senior citizens back into our nursing homes, and today, nearly 70% of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 deaths are among nursing home residents.
“The governor is happy to tell the people of Pennsylvania what they should do but he has been unwilling to share much about how or why he and his administration are making these decisions. Over the years, the governor has frequently ‘talked the talk’ about being open and transparent. Now it’s time to ‘walk the walk’ by signing this bill to ensure Right-to-Know requests are addressed during declared emergencies.
“The absolute last thing a governor should be doing in these difficult times is hiding information from the people, the press and the Legislature. Every member of the House and Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, agreed when they voted unanimously for this bill. It’s time for the governor to stop his unilateral decision-making and start sharing information and working with our citizens, community and business leaders, and lawmakers so we can get through this pandemic and recover as quickly as possible.”
House Bill 2463
specifically prohibits the governor from directing a Commonwealth agency to ignore requests for records or suspend the agency’s process to answer a request for records during a disaster declaration. Agencies would also be prohibited from suspending their processes and could find themselves in court if they fail to respond.
Fayette County House Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Patricia Hippler