MI: Bill would bring more transparency to state government, but there’s a loophole

Rep. Chatfield said this proposal is similar to the legislation introduced last session. Last year, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof shut down the bill because it didn't include an exception to correspondence received from a lawmaker's constituents.

That remains a major sticking point for this year's version of the legislation. The definition of a "constituent" is up for interpretation and could create a sizable loophole.

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Voter ID, FOIA legislation fall off Michigan’s lame duck agenda

The House in September passed a series of bills that would have extended FOIA to the Governor and put the legislature under a mostly-parallel "Legislative Open Records Act."

The bipartisan effort was led by Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, and Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield. But in the Senate the bills were referred to the Committee on Government Operations, controlled by Meekhof. And he won't be bringing them up this session, a spokesperson confirmed.

Moss said he was seeking more partners and wants to reconsider the topic next year.

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FOIA expansion among things to watch during Michigan’s lame-duck session

The House passed laws in September that would expand the state's Freedom of Information Act, which allows citizens to access records, to the governor's office. The bills would also subject the legislature to a separate Legislative Open Records Act. Currently neither the governor or legislature are subject to FOIA.

While the bills passed the House easily, there seems to be less appetite in the Senate, where they've been referred to the Government Operations Committee. That committee has a reputation around the capitol for being where bills go to die.

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Michigan House passes bills expanding state’s Freedom of Information Act

The Michigan State House of Representatives passed House Bills 5469-5478 on Wednesday to expand and strengthen the state’s existing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws by subjecting the offices of the governor and lieutenant governor to FOIA laws and creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).

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