Michigan House Republicans
Sunshine Week
RELEASE|March 14, 2024

By: State Rep. Pauline Wendzel

It’s not a radical idea to believe that Michiganders deserve to know what their state government is doing on their behalf.  That’s why I’ve voted in favor of legislation every term I’ve served to open Michigan’s Legislature and Executive Office to open records laws.

While Legislation has always passed the House, it faced roadblocks in the Senate.  Unfortunately, Democrats in control of the House have not brought forward legislation this term to shine sunshine on our state government. 

More than a month ago, House Republicans introduced a plan to expand the scope of Michigan’s open records laws to cover all of state government and create a new nonpartisan commission to ensure a fair and truly transparent system.

Michigan is just one of two states where the Legislature and the governor’s office are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or another similar open records requirement.

Under our plan, legislators, the governor, and lieutenant governor would be held to the same FOIA requirements that elected officials and employees in other areas of state and local government are expected to follow. It also makes several other changes to improve the process for residents who seek access to public records at all levels.

Michigan’s current transparency laws are failing our residents. Government records, especially those of our highest-ranking officials, are kept hidden from public view, while legitimate requests for transparency are met with bureaucratic hurdles. It’s time to cut through the red tape and bring transparency to the forefront. By clarifying, modernizing, and expanding our Freedom of Information Act, we can ensure that the people of Michigan have access to the information they need to hold their government accountable.

Sunshine Week, observed each March, highlights the need for transparency and accountability at all levels of government. March 10-16 marks the occasion this year, and I’m hopeful that Legislative Democrats in the House put forward these sunshine laws, as House Republicans have done for the past several years.

Michigan House Republicans

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