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More transparency in our government is always a good thing

In what seems like a common-sense measure, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday unanimously voted to force public agencies subject to the state’s Sunshine Act to post agendas publicly on their websites and at agency offices at least a day before meetings in which they are voted on.

What this does is allows the public to see what is being voted on at any particular meeting and decide whether to make plans to attend meetings and participate in any public debate about the issue.

It also bars officials from voting on anything not part of the posted agenda, except when an emergency threatening life and limb dictates it, or the issue is “minor” and does not involve spending public money, although items could be added to the agenda during meetings by a majority vote.

It’s amazing that making the agenda public hasn’t been written into state law before. But now that the House has done its part, needless to say, we support anything that restricts the ability of government to depress public participation and input.

For that to happen, the public needs to know what is being discussed and when.

Far too often, our government forgets that it works for us, not the other way around.

The Senate would do well to follow the House’s lead and soon pass this measure with broad bipartisan backing.

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