HARRISBURG – With the goal of improving Pennsylvania’s pension systems and updating and strengthening the Right-to-Know Law, the House State Government Committee advanced several bills, most of which received bipartisan support, during its meeting today, Chairman Seth Grove (R-York) said.
“Today the committee focused on ensuring Pennsylvanians have access to government information by providing much-needed updates to the Right-to-Know Law. We also moved to make sure all state agencies are complying with the law, which requires them to submit contracts to a public database,” Grove said. “In terms of pension reform, we took major steps forward by making sure the public knows more about pension boards and their operations; and advanced legislation barring non-state employees from being eligible to be part of the state pension system.”
Specifically, the committee advanced the following bills, which will now be considered by the full House:
• House Bill 811
would remove future Susquehanna River Basin Commission employees, who are not state employees, from the state pension system.
• House Bill 1578
would amend the State Employees’ Retirement Code and the Public School Employees’ Retirement Code to clearly establish that the contribution collars are no longer in effect and ensure that the Commonwealth pay the annual required contribution each year.
• House Bill 1671
would require more robust and transparent management fee reporting standards from State Employees Retirement Board and Public School Employees’ Retirement Board.
• House Bill 2010
would require any trustee, board member or other appointed or elected official who stands in a fiduciary relationship to a state, county or local pension system, or to a fund of the Commonwealth, to obtain two hours of initial training and one hour of annual training in fiduciary law.
• House Bill 2485
would codify the Pennsylvania Treasury Department’s current process for ensuring entities required to publicly disclose their contracts do so and provide the department with the ability to not disperse any funds for any contract which has not been submitted to the public Contracts e-Library database.
• House Bill 2524
would provide numerous needed updates to the Right-to-Know Law, such as requiring agencies to register open records officer contact information with the state’s Office of Open Records; permitting agencies to ask requesters whether records will be used for commercial purposes; a new penalty for false certification relating to commercial requests; additional privacy and public safety clarifications; updates to comply with recent court rulings; and permission to assess reasonable, standard fees for commercial requests, with an exception for media requests.
Representative Seth Grove
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Greg Gross