HARRISBURG - Reps. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union), Jeff Wheeland (R-Lycoming) and David Rowe (R-Snyder/Union) today issued the following statement after the announcement from Gov. Tom Wolf at yesterday’s press conference that he plans to veto House Bill 2463
. The bill would ensure Right-to-Know (RTK) requests are answered during state of emergency declarations and it was passed unanimously by the General Assembly.
“First, Gov. Tom Wolf’s excuse for causing a constitutional crisis when he ordered the shutting down of every Pennsylvania business without legislative approval to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 was claiming he isn’t a lawyer. Now, when asked why he would not sign a basic, bipartisan bill on government transparency that was supported by every Democrat in the Legislature, he claims to be ‘new’ at politics.
“The fact is that every citizen of our democracy knows that government transparency is a key principle of how American government functions and protects the liberties of its citizens. This bill is not about politics -- it’s about good government, which the people of Pennsylvania deserve.
“Pennsylvanians deserve transparency from their government at all times, but especially during emergencies. We must ensure that the health and safety of our citizens is truly at the core of our government’s policies. As we saw with the Wolf administration’s long-delayed release of death statistics from nursing homes and long-term care facilities, which are under the supervision of Health Secretary Rachel Levine, it is critical that public servants -- including press and public officials -- are able to quickly obtain information from the administration.
“Sharing of information between all branches of government and the public is critical to healthy debate, healthy citizens and a healthy democracy. This is not about politics, this is about saving lives. We call upon Gov. Wolf to stop keeping Pennsylvanians in the dark and to sign House Bill 2463 immediately.”
Representative Garth D. Everett
Representative Jeff C. Wheeland
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Representative David Rowe
Media Contact: Alison Haas