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Pennsylvania: Senate-backed records bill stalls in House

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  1. Freedom of Information
Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously approved a bill that proponents argue would vastly improve the state's current open records…

Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously approved a bill that proponents argue would vastly improve the state’s current open records law. Supporters of the bill are hopeful that after a year-long process of modifications, it would quickly be approved by the state House and proceed to Gov. Ed Rendell’s desk.

However, the bill is still in the House with no telling when a decision will be reached.

Barry Kauffman, executive director for Common Cause/Pennsylvania, criticized the bill Wednesday, saying there are loopholes that can and should be resolved.

Teri Henning, general counsel for the Pennsylvania Newspapers Association has played a large role in the drafting and negotiation of the bill. And while there has been talk of resistance in the House and criticism Kauffman and others, Henning defended the bill saying, “We believe, on whole, that the bill is a significant improvement.” She said she is hopeful that the House will take it up by the end of the week.