Celebrating 10 years of open records in Pa.

It's not every day that you get to sit between a former senator, a judge and a former mayor and governor.

That was my good fortune Wednesday as I moderated a special panel marking the 10th anniversry of the Pennsylvania Open Records/Right to Know Law.

The law was sponsored by then Sen. (now Delaware County judge) Dominic Pileggi. It was signed into law by Gov. Ed Rendell. There is something that should be noted there, something that does not happen that often these days.

Pileggi was the leader of the Republican Senate Majority. Rendell, of course, was the Democratic former mayor of Philadelphia. It just proves that it can happen.

I also took part in a media roundtable to discuss how the law has actually been working. I was joined by John Baer of the Philadelphia Daily News; Kristen Johanson, reporter for KYW Newsradio; Joe Conti, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters; and Melissa Melewsky, legal counsel for the Pennsylvania News Media Association.

The law was a watershed moment for those interested in knowing how their government entities work.

It literally reversed the longtime presumption in Pennsylvania that documents and the workings of publicly funded government agencies was private, placing the burden on a citizen or reporter to argue why that should not be the case.

Now that onus is on the government to prove why a document should not be available for public review.

That's the way it should be. After all, it's your money.

You can catch a replay of the session here.