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state capitol Harrisburg 2-19.jpg

(Matt Rourke/AP)

(Harrisburg) — State and local government records that have been stolen or have otherwise ended up in private hands without authorization would be much easier to reclaim under legislation that could pass the Pennsylvania House. 

A bill scheduled for a vote this week would give the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission the power to demand the return of records with historical value.

It would also give the agency the ability to ask Commonwealth Court to order they be turned over.

Local governments that believe their records are improperly in the hands of others would be empowered to seek the records or request that the commission use the same process to procure their return.

The commission says it’s had some success at persuading people who own government historical records to return them.