State Rep. Daire Rendon’s plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan was approved today by the House Government Operations Committee.
Rendon, of Lake City, said the committee’s approval coincided with Sunshine Week, a national initiative celebrating the important role transparency plays in our system of government.
“It’s an appropriate time to shine a light on an important area where our state’s public disclosure laws are lacking,” Rendon said. “Michigan is one of just two states where residents cannot request to view the records of the governor and legislators.”
Rendon’s legislation is part of a bipartisan plan to end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.
The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to FOIA and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating a new law called 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 communications lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists would not be exempt.
House Bills 4007-4016 now advance to the full House for consideration.