Friday, April 29, 2005

House Journal, Part 2

I had some time this afternoon so I went to the closest law library to browse through the House Journal and see who had been voting how and what the House was generally up to, plus there were some bills in the weekly legislative updates that intrigued me and I wanted to see what, if any, discussion had taken place. If you saw my previous post on this topic you may remember that the voting records of our state officials are not made public anywhere except the House Journal and Senate Journal.

Imagine my surprise to find that the most recent Senate Journal issues were from February and for the House from November. I looked for the check-in stamp and found that the issues tended to come in bunches once a month. The October House Journal issues were received in March and the November issues in April. Ditto for the Senate, although they are not so far behind.

Thinking perhaps it was a quirk of this particular library I checked the online library catalogs of 3 other PA law libraries. None showed any more current issues than the one I had visited. Apparently our state legislative bodies are not only secretive about their voting records, they are dragging their feet in publishing the only method we have of reviewing those voting records.

Every single state representative and senator who serves their term and leaves without making some attempt to let a little more sunshine into the process is condoning it. We're making some headway in the release of lobbying information, let's take this on next.

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