– Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) this week joined a majority of his colleagues in the House of Representatives in supporting legislation that would provide public transparency to data collected by the Pennsylvania Department of Health under the Disease Control and Prevention Law by making such information subject to the Right to Know Law.
Under Section 15 of The Disease Prevention and Control Act of 1955, a provision currently allows the department to withhold disease-related data. House Bill 1893
would repeal Section 15 and replace it with a provision stating all disease information would be subject to the Right-to-Know Law. All personal information would be protected while full access to government information would be guaranteed.
“This bill will provide for additional transparency between the state Health Department and local health departments when considering information regarding a pandemic or health crisis,” said Heffley. “There were comments made by some of my colleagues in the minority party that somehow this bill would allow for the sharing of personal data or information, which is totally inaccurate. We are going to ensure that every Pennsylvania resident’s personal and private information is protected as we move these transparency bills forward.”
Heffley noted the legislation is necessary following the Wolf administration’s reluctance to provide accurate disease-related data during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we deal with the lingering effects of the pandemic, it is important that we know which areas of the state are seeing a higher infection rate, which vaccines are more effective, or whether we are going to be impacted in schools and health care facilities. This is going to be very useful information,” Heffley added.
House Bill 1893 was sent to the Senate for consideration.
Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs
RepHeffley.com / Facebook.com/RepHeffley