Legislation extends open record requirements to governor, Legislature
State Rep. Daire Rendon’s plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan was unanimously approved today by the Michigan House.
Rendon, of Lake City, said Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor and state legislators from open records laws. Her legislation is part of a bipartisan plan to end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.
“We’ve taken a significant step toward adding a layer of transparency to state government that is long overdue,” Rendon said. “I urge my colleagues in the Senate, as well as the governor, to follow our example and get this plan across the finish line so residents have access to the information they need to hold us accountable.”
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 communications 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.