HARRISBURG – Rep. Bud Cook (R-Washington/Fayette) is requesting the records of 433 projects funded by the Local Share Account (LSA) of casino gambling in Washington County. With pushback from the Redevelopment Authority, Cook issued the following statement regarding his request:
“Under the Gaming Act, Washington County is eligible for grant funding for economic development projects, job training, community improvement projects and public interest projects. Our LSA money is administered by the Washington County Redevelopment Authority, which is a government entity subject to the requirements of the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL). The RTKL was designed to provide greater transparency and openness in government and avoid costly and protracted litigation by making it clear what a “public record” is. There is no dispute: these are public records that must be produced. However, the Redevelopment Authority has made the process of retrieving these documents unnecessarily difficult and expensive. They claim that this is a time and money issue. The authority stored the last four years of grant funding records digitally and could have produced them easily. Yet, they denied access to those records, too. So I doubt that money and time is the real issue with providing these records.
“I am aware of the time and cost of producing these records. However, I stand by my request for these grant documents funded by the tax dollars from The Meadows Racetrack and Casino. If the Redevelopment Authority can get away with doing this to me as the state representative for the 49th Legislative District, what chance do my constituents have when they try to exercise their rights under the RTKL? We, the government should be fighting for We, the People!
“Trust that I will continue to fight to ensure that the Redevelopment Authority obeys the letter of the law.”
Representative Bud Cook
49th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Michelle Swab