Apr 6, 2010

Patriot-News Editorial Calls For More Openness In Harrisburg

Today the Patriot-News has a great editorial calling for our state lawmakers to allow more "sunshine" on the decision making process. The editorial highlights how long it took for reporter Jan Murphy to obtain records from the House Democratic Caucus leadership regarding pay raises given to high profile legislative staffers a month before the state salary freeze.
Reporter Jan Murphy spent six weeks trying to get the information. When she asked for the names of the 12 staffers who were given raises in December, even though their anniversary dates fell on or after the pay freeze took effect, she was told by a House spokesman that the information was “confidential.” She then filed a Right to Know request that was denied and an appeal that also was turned down.

After making a request with the State Employees’ Retirement System, she finally received the information in about a week. Eventually, the House Democratic Caucus also gave it to her.

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Everything seems like it is confidential when it comes to investigating what our state lawmakers are really doing with our money. The actions of the House Democratic Caucus Leadership is horrifying. Pennsylvania voters should be outraged by the behavior of our state legislative leadership. Greed is really driving the legislative process not the will of the people.

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