Bipartisan solution gives people access to more public information
State Rep. Annette Glenn, along with a bipartisan group of House colleagues, has introduced a comprehensive plan to increase the transparency of state government.
Glenn, of Williams Township, said Michigan is one of a very few states that still exempts its governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature from sunshine laws. The bipartisan solution would remove these exemptions and make the government more accountable to the people of Michigan.
“It’s time to hold the Legislature and the executive branch of state government more accountable to taxpayers,” Glenn said. “The people of Michigan are entitled to information about how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent, which is why I made this my number one priority and first introduced bill.”
The transparency plan will subject the Legislature to a new Legislative Open Records Act (LORA) and the governor and lieutenant governor to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
“Good government is open and accountable to the people,” Glenn said. “Just like local governments and school boards are subject to public scrutiny, we must be open and honest with the families, seniors and workers who trust us to represent their interests at the Capitol.”
Under the current FOIA law some documents containing sensitive personal information are exempt from disclosure by local governments. Similarly, the new LORA will exempt some records, among them letters to and from people in the district, personnel files, and ongoing legislative investigations or lawsuits.
The plan, laid out in House Bills 4007-16, has been referred to the House Government Operations Committee for consideration.