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.

More

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.

More

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.

More

Mich. court orders city to comply with FOIA

From Michigan Capitol Confidential: The city of Westland “subverted” Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act and must comply with the law, according to a recent judge’s ruling.

“They [Westland officials] were over charging,” said William Maze, the Livonia attorney who sued the city. “Clearly they were doing it to make a profit.”

Visit Michigan Capitol Confidential for more.

======

 

More

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

More

Mich. AG part of forum on ‘clean and open government’ in Detroit

From Mlive.com: DETROIT, MI — Mayor Dave Bing is credited with restoring a level of dignity to Detroit government in the wake of the Kwame Kilpatrick administration, but there is still work to be done.

“Building an honest and open government” is the topic of a discussion at Wayne State University from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 21 in the law school’s Patriarch Auditorium.

Visit Mlive.com for more.

======

 

More

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.

More

Mackinac Center hosting FOIA town hall meetings

From Mackinac Center for Public Policy:  Executive Vice President Michael J. Reitz was a guest on “The Tony Conley Show” on WILS AM1320 in Lansing today, talking about the Center’s upcoming series of town hall meetings focusing on government transparency, the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.

More