Legislation that would require Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board to reveal more information about its executive sessions has been introduced in the House.

“It’s basically a good government piece of legislation, getting government to be more transparent. ” said Nicole Wamsley, spokesperson for the House Republican Caucus.

The measure, introduced by state Rep. Karen Boback, R-Luzerne, would require the Control Board (PGCB) to report information about its executive sessions to the governor and General Assembly.

“The Gaming Control Board has exhibited a pattern of regularly calling executive sessions, and my legislation would ensure that the PGCB is appropriately heeding Pennsylvania’s Right to Know and Sunshine acts in those sessions,” Boback said.

The bill, HB 2007, adds language to existing law to require the PGCB to include in its annual reports to the governor and the General Assembly information regarding the number of executive sessions it conducted and the agenda of those sessions.

Other bills introduced in a gaming reform package, the Gaming Control Board Rehabilitation Package, include the following (Summaries provided by House Republican Caucus):

  • Require annual audits of the PGCB by an independent state agency, such as the auditor general’s office.
  • Prohibit any person from serving as a member of the PGCB if he or she was an applicant for or holder of a Pennsylvania slot machine license.
  • Require the PGCB to post on its website all contracts, including those for legal work.
  • Clarify the role of the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (BIE).
  • Prohibit the use of executive session by the board for quasi-judicial deliberations involving slot machine license applications, unless confidential information is involved, with this legislation clarifying the definition of confidential information.
  • Prohibit any PGCB employee from obtaining employment with a gaming entity or any firm associated with gaming for two years.
  • Ban the governor, auditor general, attorney general and state legislators from becoming PGCB members for two years from the end of their term.

Boback’s legislation is awaiting an up-or-down vote of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, which held a public hearing earlier this week to discuss the proposals in the package.