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Friday, November 20, 2009

Investigative Team Finds Pennsylvania Lacking in Transparency, Despite New Right to Know Law

Pittsburgh's Team 4 reports that despite a new Right to Know Law, aimed at improving Pennsylvania government transparency, the Legislature is not being forthcoming. For example, the Legislature doesn't post online all of its leases for lawmakers' district offices, citing the need to redact signatures from the leases, even though Team 4 reports the Legislature promised to post the records online. Get the full report here.

The investigative team wanted online access as part of its investigation that asks, "With our ability now to e-mail and get things done on the Internet, why do lawmakers still have so many district offices?"

Pennsylvania legislators are allowed to make their own deals with landlords for their district offices. An investigation into relationships found that 15 lawmakers in Western Pennsylvania have accepted campaign contributions from their district office landlords, and one state senator even had a financial interest in the group owning the building from which he leased his district office. Get the more details here.

Click here for the interactive map of district offices.

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