Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Open records director Terry Mutchler on government transparency

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 6, 2014 2:06 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, May 7, 2014:

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In the summer on 2005, members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly voted themselves salary increases.  The vote came in the early morning hours of the last day of the legislative session.

The pay raise, as it became known, was the catalyst for state government reform, even after it was rescinded in November of that year.

Reforms were proposed and a handful were enacted.

Perhaps one of the most significant was a change in Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know law.  The state had a reputation of not being as transparent as other states, especially since someone who requested a document had to prove they were legally entitled to it.

The law changed that and all information was considered open to the public unless proven otherwise.

At the same time, the state created the Office of Open Records to act as a referee when requests were disputed.

Terry Mutchler was the first Executive Director of the Office of Open Records.  Her six-year term expired two weeks ago and Gov. Tom Corbett hasn't said whether she will be re-appointed.

Mutchler appears on Wednesday's Smart Talk to discuss the last six years in her office and government transparency.

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Terry Mutchler

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