Plan extends open record requirements to governor, Legislature
State Rep. Sarah Lightner today voted to approve a bipartisan plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan.
Lightner, of Springport, said the House unanimously approved the multi-bill proposal.
“This solution will help shed light on all of the business conducted in our state Capitol,” Lightner said. “Michiganders deserve full access to information about how their government operates and the way their tax dollars are spent.”
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 the same 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 constituents’ personal information is protected and kept private. Other types of communications – including those lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists – would not be exempt.
House Bills 4007-13 and 4015-16 now advance to the Senate for consideration.