Via John Micek:
The AP reports this morning that appeals officers for the state House and Senate think that Magnifying-glass Pennsylvania’s new Right-to-Know Law does not give the public the right to review correspondence between lawmakers and lobbyists.
On Tuesday, the two chambers rejected the AP’s request for communications last year between registered lobbyists and the four floor leaders: Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware; Sen. Bob Mellow, D-Lackawanna; Rep. Bill DeWeese, D-Greene; and Rep. Sam Smith, R-Jefferson.
The caucuses denied the requests last month. The AP then appealed to House Parliamentarian Reizdan Moore and Senate Secretary Mark Corrigan, the designated House and Senate appeals officers.
Moore and Corrigan both found that lobbyist communications are not covered by the law’s definitions of the types of “legislative records” that the public can get.
One of the problems here, at least as I see it, is that the appeals officers have a vested interest in the privacy of the House and Senate. We need independent appeals officials who aren’t beholden to House and Senate leadership.