Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pennsylvania may catch up with the rest of the US

Putting laws online overdue, Altoona Mirror, July 16, 2007.  An editorial.  Excerpt:

There ought to be a law to ensure the public has free online access to the laws of the commonwealth….

Last month, the state House unanimously approved a bill that would require Pennsylvania to put all of its statutes on a free Internet site.

Such an effort is not unusual.  Forty-nine states have made their statutes available on free Internet sites. Pennsylvania is the only exception….

In an era in which online 24/7 access to information is the norm and the state is trying to lure more high-technology businesses and research facilities, Pennsylvania is far behind the curve.

Rep. Lisa Bennington, D-Allegheny, who sponsored House Bill 976, sees free online access to Pennsylvania’s statutes as an important part of government reform. The Associated Press quotes her as saying, ‘‘We need to have greater transparency in government and in our laws.’’

We agree.  Senators should move quickly to consider HB 976.

Your tax dollars paid to create and enforce the laws. You should not have to pay again to view the statutes at your leisure. It’s time for Pennsylvania to catch up to the rest of the nation.