Public Records Law Passed In Senate

The Pennsylvania Senate has passed a bill that would make significant changes to PA’s open records law. The Bill, known as SB 1 [html] changes the “presumption” for determining whether or not a record of a public agency is a “public record.”

In other words, the current version of the law presumes that all agency records are not public unless they fit into one of several enumerated categories. All other documents are declared not to be public. Under the new version, all documents of an agency would be considered to be public unless they fit into one of a number of enumerated exceptions.

Of course, the House must concur in the bill, and it is likely that any version of the law that comes out of the House will not match the Senate version entirely. As a result, the final draft, if there is one, of this legislation could be slightly different than what was adopted by the Senate. We will keep watching, though, to see how this plays out.

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