HARRISBURG – Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin) today issued the following statement regarding the House postponement of open records legislation:
“I am pleased that calmer heads have prevailed and a majority of House members voted to postpone consideration of Senate Bill 1 until next week. This legislation would not take effect until January 2009, and there are critical components that need to be fixed before it is signed into law.
“This legislation would have dealt a major blow to real estate agents and anyone in the Commonwealth who wanted to buy or sell a home. If Senate Bill 1 was passed without amendment, it would not allow Multi-List Systems to have access to county-level housing data in a user-friendly format and would thus make the home buying and selling process must more difficult and more costly, and would hinder how realtors provide service to their clients.”
“In addition, this legislation would have made available every Pennsylvania residents’ address and left the state ripe for the picking for identity theft criminals. Every day Commonwealth residents are forced to deal with the horrible consequences of having their identities stolen, and I could not in good conscious vote for legislation that would make this crime easier to perpetrate.
“Another issue of great concern to me in this legislation is the availability of personal information of domestic violence victims. Victims are already fighting every day to be hidden from their attackers, and making this information public will do a great disservice to our most vulnerable residents.
“I have been a continued supporter of open records and open government, but let’s take the time and do this the right way by making sure that our citizens are safe and their personal information will not be compromised. State government definitely needs openness and transparency but it should not come at the price of our residents’ safety.”
Rep. Susan C. Helm
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Sean Yeakle
Member Site: www.SueHelm.net
Caucus Site: www.PAHouseGOP.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2008