Rep. Calley: People deserve transparency from state government

Categories: Calley News

State Rep. Julie Calley today voted to approve a bipartisan plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan.

Calley, of Portland, said the House unanimously approved the multi-bill proposal.

“Right now, Michigan is dead last compared to other states on transparency,” Calley said. “Removing these exemptions is the first step we must make to ensure residents have access to all of the information they deserve.”

Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor and the Legislature from open records laws. The bipartisan solution approved today would end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.

The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and hold state representatives and senators to a similar high standard by creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).

While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private. Other types of communications – including those lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists – would not be exempt.

The LORA plan also ensures residents have access to a fair and effective way to appeal improper denials and excessive fees.

House Bills 4007-13 and 4015-16 now advance to the Senate for consideration.