Pennsylvania’s Open Records Law, June 13, 2019

A Retrospective and Look Forward 10 Years after the Adoption of the Right to Know Law (Act 3 of 2008)

Department: ,

Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Time: 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Location: Neumann University

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Agenda Handout

Historical Perspective

Enactment of the Law:
Presentation by Judge Dominic Pileggi, former Senate Majority Leader on the legislature’s enactment of the Open Records Law, legislative intent, and key issues.

Establishment of the Office of Open Records:
Presentation by former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell on the process of establishing the new Office of Open Records.

The Importance of the Law:

Question and Answer session on the views of former Governor Rendell and Judge Pileggi about the importance of the law and its impact.  Discussions will be moderated by Phil Heron, Editor of the Delaware County Daily Times.

PA’s Open Records Law from a Media Perspective:

A view from the fourth estate on the positive impacts of the right to know law.  This panel will be moderated by John Baer, political columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.  Panelists will include Phil Heron, editor of the Daily Times; Kristen Johanson, reporter for KYW Newsradio; Joe Conti, President of the PA Association of Broadcasters; and Melissa Melewsky, Media Legal Counsel, Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

Financial Implications of the Law:

Staff members for the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, including Executive Director Patricia Berger and Analyst Louis Day, will provide an overview of a recent state report examining the financial impact of the law.

A View from the Other Side:

A panel discussion from representatives of local governmental entities will share information on their experience with the law, including possible misuse of the law.  Panelists will include Doug Hill, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania; Elam Herr of the PA State Association of Township Supervisors, and Frank Catania, who has served as a solicitor for local governments/school districts. The panel will be moderated by Danielle McNichol, General Counsel for Neumann University.

Open Records in Practice and a Look Ahead:

Erik Arneson, Executive Director of the Office of Open Records, will provide information on some of the key rulings from the Pennsylvania Open Records Office, as well as an update on foreseen improvements to the state’s open records law.

PA Open Records Law



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