Pennsylvania legislature works to introduce expanded salary data for public universities

Pennsylvania’s state Senate recently closed a loophole that would have allowed faculty salaries at state universities to be reported in dollar ranges rather than a specific salary number as part of ongoing efforts to increase salary transparency through the Right-to-Know Law.

The expansion of the law aims to increase the amount of employees whose salaries are publicly reported, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The larger bill, formally known as Senate Bill 412, would expand the required publicly-disclosed salaries to include all officers and directors of state institutions.

For institutions with more than 2,500 employees, such as Penn State University and the University of Pittsburgh, the top 200 paid employees’ salaries must be disclosed, and smaller institutions must disclose the top 25 salaries. The current standard only requires that large universities disclose 25 salaries.

The sponsor of the revised Right-to-Know Law is state Sen. John Blake, a Democrat, who attached the law to Senate Bill 412. State Sen. Anthony Williams, a Democrat, proposed the amendment to specify exact salary data on behalf of Blake, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“We didn’t want to step back from any current reporting requirement,” Blake told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We didn’t want to make things any less transparent.”

The original sponsor of the bill is state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, a Republican, who introduced the existing Right-to-Know law in 2009.

The bill still has to pass the Pennsylvania House and Senate and be signed by Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf before becoming law.