Michigan bill would exempt some police body cam footage from FOIA

A bill pending in the Michigan Legislature would exempt some footage from police body-cams, which are currently being tested in Detroit, from public record request in the state.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Runestad (R-White Lake Township), comes as police departments across the U.S. have faced increased scrutiny in wake of the deaths of Walter Scott in South Carolina, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. All three were unarmed black males who died at the hands of white police officers.

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Charles Hill: Bills would help keep Michigan government honest

From Detroit Free Press: Most government officials and politicians will agree in public that the work of government should be transparent so that citizens can judge whether money is being spent wisely and decisions are being made properly.

But the reality is that getting your hands on specific government information isn’t always easy, even when the law says it should be available.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for November 15, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

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Limits on fees for public records passed by Michigan state House committee

From Detroit Free Press: LANSING — Public bodies would be limited in what they could charge for copying public records under the Freedom of Information Act under a bill passed by a House committee Tuesday.

The bill would allow public bodies to charge $0.10 per page for documents requested by anyone under the Freedom of Information Act. They also could charge labor costs of up to three times the minimum wage in Michigan of $7.40 per hour.

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Charles Hill: Bill would make government information easier and cheaper for public to obtain

From Michigan Coalition for Open Government: Most government officials and politicians will agree in public that the work of government should be transparent so citizens can judge whether money is being spent wisely and decisions are being made properly.

But the reality is that getting your hands on specific government information isn’t always easy, even when the law says it should be available.

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Bills to limit access to juvenile records, accident reports move forward

From Detroit Free Press: LANSING — Two bills that would make it more difficult or impossible for the public to access the criminal records of juveniles and accident records from police passed overwhelmingly in the Legislature on Wednesday.

The first bill, passed unanimously in the Senate, would shut out the public from access to the criminal records of juveniles available on a Michigan State Police-run online data base. The records could be released to other law enforcement agencies and employers who do criminal background checks on potential employees

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Mich. House committee votes to define ‘journalists’ and delay access to certain public records

From Michigan Capitol Confidential:  The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved House Bill 4770, which among other things, attempts to define what a journalist is to restrict access to motor vehicle accident reports for a period of 30 days after the accident.

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Freedom of Information bills go before Michigan House panel

From Lansing State Journal:  Michigan lawmakers say they’re trying to find middle ground between citizens, journalists, businesses and advocacy organizations who want easier, less costly access to public information and the local governments and law enforcement agencies that say transparency laws are too burdensome.

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Michigan House committee to debate FOIA fees cap

From San Francisco Chronicle:  LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan House committee is expected to take up a bill that would restrict how much government agencies can charge for Freedom of Information Act requests.

The House Oversight Committee is expected to consider the bill Tuesday. It would prohibit a public body from charging more than 10 cents a page for a copy of public record under the act.

 

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