Tuesday, Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Val DiGiorgio was joined by Sen. Pat Stefano and Rep. Jesse Topper to talk about Tom Wolf and PA Democrats using the Right to Know Law to try and silence rural legislators from speaking about the Governor’s disastrous education funding plan that would cut $1.2 billion from 362 rural and already-struggling school districts.
In total, at least nine rural legislators—who have been vocal in the press about their opposition to the plan—have received Right to Know requests to see if there has been any coordinated messaging.
“Using the Right to Know Law as a shield like this is a sad attempt by the Governor’s campaign and the PA Democrats to try and distract from the fact that the Governor supports a plan that would immediately cut $1.2 billion from 362 rural and already-struggling school districts,” said Chairman DiGiorgio.
“The use of the Right to Know Law in this way is particularly hypocritical given the Governor has chosen secrecy over transparency time and time again, using the transparency law to shield public documents from disclosure.”
In the past, Tom Wolf’s administration has hidden behind the Right to Know Law to shield documents related to the Amazon incentive package, Congressional redistricting litigation, and Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.
The Governor has also kept secret a report by the Inspector General into wrongdoing by Lt. Gov. Mike Stack and has not divulged by former Secretary of State Pedro Cortes was asked to leave the administration.
Sen. Stefano, one of the legislators who has received a Right to Know request, said he would not be intimidated into silence.
“The counties I represent stand to lose over a combined $100 million from the Governor’s disastrous education funding plan. I will not be bullied into silence or intimidated into not speaking up on behalf of my rural school districts, and the students they serve,” he said.
Rep. Topper, who represents a district whose counties would see an aggregate loss of $25.4 million to its school districts, added Gov. Wolf’s education funding plan is the latest in the Governor leaving rural Pennsylvania behind.
“I was shocked to hear the Governor’s education funding plan and learn of the effects it would have in my district,” he said. “From proposing job-killing taxes to creating an onerous regulatory environment, this is just the latest example of Tom Wolf not wanting to see rural Pennsylvania succeed.”
Earlier this month, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania launched www.tomwolfcutsschools.comto highlight the impact of the Governor’s proposed education funding plan.