Senate panel passes bill to broaden Right to Know in Pennsylvania
A bill to expand the scope of Pennsylvania's Right to Know at the University of Pittsburgh, Temple, Penn State and Lincoln universities passed the Senate State Government Committee this week, but it still has a long way to go.
Pressure to bring the schools — which receive hundreds of millions of dollars a year in state subsidies — under the full provisions of the law began growing in 2011 after the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal stunned Penn State.
Senate Bill 444, among other changes, would require the schools to post information about contracts valued at $5,000 or more and to report the salaries of their 200 highest-paid employees. The bill has bipartisan support in the Senate but likely won't make it to a vote of the full chamber until fall, said Erik Arneson, a spokesman for Senate Republicans.
Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon and minority chair of the State Government Committee, said the changes the bill would make are necessary.
“This is an important step in providing greater transparency and accountability in how significant public funds are being spent,” Smith said.
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware County, said he intends to continue work on the legislation through the summer.
“Pennsylvania's new Open Records Law is widely recognized as one of the best in the nation. This bill makes a number of important and necessary changes, and it's important to get them right,” he said.
Pitt spokesman Ken Service said the university remains committed to working with lawmakers to address such concerns.
“We already make a great deal of information about the University of Pittsburgh available to the public in a convenient and accessible manner, and this proposed expansion of those reporting obligations will add significantly to the information available to the public,” he said.
Debra Erdley is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.