The state House has voted to exempt volunteer fire departments from Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law, which journalists and the general public can use to request information from public entities.
Supporters of the bill say it is a needed correction to a burdensome system, but opponents say it just makes the departments needlessly opaque.
The Right to Know exemption is one of eighteen bills the legislature is considering this week in a package intended to help fire departments and emergency medical services find more volunteers and get on firmer financial footing.
Most aren’t controversial.
But the exemption prompted debate. Sponsor Lee James, a Venango County Republican, said volunteer fire departments should never have been subject to Right to Know in the first place.