Jul. 24, 2020

HARRISBURG – For the benefit of all Pennsylvanians, Rep. Tim Bonner (R-Mercer/Butler) implored Gov. Tom Wolf to sign House Bill 2463. Under his unilateral emergency rule, Gov. Wolf has suspended the law that state agencies must respond to requests for public information. This legislation (House Bill 2463) would not only provide necessary government information to the public that has been withheld by the governor during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would also ensure transparency during future emergencies.

House Bill 2463, which passed the General Assembly without a single opposing vote, would require state agencies to respond to Right-to-Know requests from the public during emergency disaster declarations. It is very important that the state provide appropriate information during normal times but certainly important during times of emergency when people are anxious with the government’s response to dire conditions.

Bonner issued the following statement on the legislation and his desire for the governor to sign House Bill 2463:

“As public servants, it’s incredibly important that we always remain accountable to the people we serve and share with them the information that they are entitled to know – especially during emergencies. Our citizens have legitimate questions and concerns, and the governor should not be allowed to conceal the answers by blocking records that would usually be accessible to the public. In order for the people to have confidence in the government’s decisions, light must shine into the inner circles of power. Although the governor has ignored the state Legislature during the past four months with no end in sight, the governor cannot be permitted to ignore the citizens of this Commonwealth in their request for information. All power comes from the citizens, and ignoring their request for rightful information is an abuse of the governor’s power and authority. The governor is ultimately accountable to the people who elected him to office, and they cannot be simply ignored.

“I sincerely hope Gov. Tom Wolf makes the responsible decision and signs House Bill 2463 and provides answers to the people of this Commonwealth.”

Representative Tim Bonner
8th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans