Ann Arbor City Council to provide lead water pipe information after FOIA request

As the result of a unanimous vote by the Ann Arbor City Council at a recent meeting, the City now has to disclose information regarding where lead materials have been used in the Ann Arbor water system. At last Monday’s meeting, councilmembers gave city staff until the end of the year to produce the information, which identifies…

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Unusual request for 2016 ballots worries Michigan election officials

A recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for copies of ballots from 2016 originally puzzled Michigan election officials and is causing some concern as the group behind the request explains its motives.   A few weeks ago, city and township clerks across Michigan received FOIA requests from someone claiming to be “Emily”, asking clerks…

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Michigan city and township officials respond to FOIA from ‘Emily’

City and township officials in Mason County and across the state were rocked last week by a mysterious Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all copies of all Election Day ballots and personal absentee voter information from the 2016 presidential election. The request came from an organization called United Impact Group with a listed…

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Why Isn’t the Michigan Legislature Covered by the Freedom of Information Act?

Nearly every state allows citizens to access records about state legislatures and governors. Not Michigan. It’s not for a lack of trying. Bills introduced in each of the last two years have passed the Michigan House but died in the Senate. Jane Briggs-Bunting, founding president and current board member of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government, says she’ll keep working…

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Judge denies MLive FOIA request for Grand Rapids police phone calls

A judge has rejected MLive's request that the city of Grand Rapids release recorded phones calls of police investigating a former Kent County prosecutor's crash.

MLive and the Grand Rapids Press sought recordings of five telephone calls on a phone designated non-recorded.

The calls involved fired Lt. Matt Janiskee talking to an officer, Adam Ickes, who described former prosecutor Josh Kuiper as "hammered," and to Sgt. Thomas Warwick, who drove Kuiper home after the Nov. 19 crash.

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Michigan TV station gets $38K FOIA bill as Home for Veterans investigation continues

A local lawmaker is asking questions about a now year-long investigation of possible criminal behavior at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans by the state's Attorney General.

The investigation started in May of last year and, to date, no criminal charges have been announced by Attorney General Bill Schuette.

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Michigan Gov Snyder signs FOIA exemption bill for fair bidding, proprietary information protection

Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law legislation that will exempt in-progress bids for public contracts from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests last week.

The legislation had been introduced by Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) in an effort to combat what he said has been abuse of the FOIA system to undercut Michigan businesses.

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Michigan: Snyder signs law shielding records until contract announced

Bids submitted by companies vying for a state government contract will be exempted from public-records requests until the contract winner is announced under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

The law, which takes effect immediately, shield records containing a trade secret or financial or propriety information from being released under the state's Freedom of Information Act.

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Michigan FOIA expansion bills tweaked in committee

The House Competitiveness Committee is expected to act Thursday on bills expanding public records acts to the governor's office and legislature under new, tightened language.

Michigan is one of two states that currently does not subject the legislature or governor to its open records laws, which helped the it earn the bottom spot on a 2015 ranking of transparency among the states.

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