Plan extends open record requirements to governor, Legislature
State Rep. Jack O’Malley today voted to approve a bipartisan plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan.
O’Malley, of Lake Ann, said the House unanimously approved the multi-bill proposal.
“Voting for this plan was an easy decision,” O’Malley said. “The people of Michigan will have more confidence in their government when the men and women they elect to state office are required to provide open access to their records.”
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 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.