Unlike lawmakers in most states, Michigan legislators aren’t required to disclose their financial interests. A bipartisan bill would change that — kind of. The bill would require lawmakers to disclose their financial information to a legislative committee, which would be exempt from the state’s Open Meetings and Freedom of Information acts. Only if the committee […]
Here’s one of those truths that ought to be self-evident: In this democracy, governments — federal, state, and local — are our governments. They belong to “We the people,” after all. We elect those who run them, and fund their salaries and everything they do. That means, or should mean, that we have a right to see […]
A package of bills to make the governor and Legislature subject to Michigan public record laws was reported out of a House committee in a unanimous vote Thursday, and the committee chairman said he is hopeful it will pass the full Legislature before legislators takes their summer break.
Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, said the package of bills "potentially puts Michigan at the forefront for government transparency." Continue…
The Mackinac Center and Sierra Club often hold different positions on policy, but have come together to call for a more transparent and accountable government. The Detroit Free Press recently published an op-ed written by David Holtz, chairman of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter, and Michael Reitz, executive vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
An effort to expand Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act could move forward this week in the state legislature.
The 40-year-old law covers local governments and state departments, but not the governor’s office or the Legislature. Continue…
Body cameras are about accountability. They are good for citizens and they are good for police officers.
Especially important in the wake of recent encounters that resulted in death, officers who wear body cameras can provide greater accountability to the people they protect — and at the same time protect themselves from false accusations.
A Michigan lawmaker is renewing a push to subject the state legislature and governor's office to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
This comes the same week the House Business Office released a summary of its findings on the recent sex scandal involving representatives Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat. Continue…
“The state Legislature made some changes to the Freedom of Information Act (at the end of 2014),” Township Manager Bill Cargo said. “These were the first major changes since the act was instituted.”
The impending changes include significant new requirements for municipalities and will change how the township responds to requests for information. According to Cargo, changes of this magnitude are unprecedented in FOIA’s nearly 40-year history.
A bill introduced in the Michigan legislature seeks to keep information secret about oil and gas pipelines, high-powered electrical lines and other key energy infrastructure.
The bill from Republican state Rep. Kurt Heise of Plymouth would exempt from disclosure under the state's Freedom of Information Act any information about existing and proposed energy infrastructure that "could be useful to a person in planning an attack," the Detroit Free Press reported.
Limits on transparency in government and the germs of plans to fund road improvements began emerging in bills introduced by members of the state House of Representatives and Senate last week.
One bill would exempt information about pipeline and energy infrastructure from Freedom of Information laws, while another would exempt certain state boards from Open Meetings Act requirements.