Pa. Senate passes new open records law

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The state Senate today unanimously passed sweeping changes to the state's open records law, long considered one of the weakest in the country.

The 50-0 vote sends the bill back to the House for concurrence, which is virtually assured. The bill then goes to Gov. Ed Rendell, who has supported the measure.

The primary change is that the new law would presume that most state records are public unless an agency can make a case that they should be private. The current law is just the opposite, requiring anyone requesting the record to prove why it should be public information.

Deborah Musselman, a lobbyist for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, praised the new law as a vast improvement.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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