New Michigan FOIA Caps Per Page Fees, Drops Costs Further If Agencies Miss Response Deadlines

If all goes according to plan, this sort of thing won't be happening in Michigan anymore.

It's not at all clear if the police in Michigan are using the full extent of these [cellphone data-slurping] tools, and that's what the ACLU was curious about. So, it filed a Freedom of Information Act request on the matter… and was told that it would cost $544,680 to get that information. That doesn't sound like "freedom" of information, now does it?


Editorial: Right, left join forces over FOIA

Miracles do happen. Two Michigan institutions on opposites sides of the political spectrum recently found some common ground.

The conservative leaning Mackinac Center for Public Policy filed a lawsuit last week against the Michigan Liquor Control Commission over ridiculous fees the agency charged for a freedom of information request.


A how-to guide to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act

Ever wonder how much your child's teacher earns? Or how much the city spent to repave your street? Or whether your neighbor has ever been cited for not keeping up his property?

The answers to these questions are found in records owned by the public, which are supposed to be there for the asking. But accessing those records is often more difficult than it needs to be.


BOC clarifies stance on FOIA request

The Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners isn’t retracting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Kalkaska Commission on Aging, just clarifying where the request originated.

At the county board’s regular meeting Jan. 14, District No. 6 Commissioner Craig Crambell said he was upset to learn a FOIA request had been forwarded to the KCOA and was addressed on behalf of the entire board.


Editorial: Gov. signs bill to hold down FOIA costs

The people who really need the Freedom of Information Act are members of the general public — you and me. The so-called "average Joes."

When dealing with a reluctant official unwilling to hand out information about the functioning of government, it is the FOIA that spells out what information should be available to the general public and how it should be turned over.


Opinion: Light shines brighter in Michigan

Government transparency doesn't mean much if it is costly to obtain government information.

Michigan's Freedom of Information Act was marred by that obstacle. The law's intent — to make information accessible to the public — was undermined by the officials of government and other public organizations who demanded excessive fees to provide it.


Michigan lawmakers, leave a legacy of transparency

Lawmakers should end this legislative session by leaving Michiganians a legacy of transparency. Bills waiting for approval by the Senate would make it cheaper and easier to obtain documents under the Freedom of Information Act, and should be passed.

The measure passed the House last March by a 102-8 vote. Obviously, it has broad bipartisan support and meets the test of an issue worthy of lawmakers’ attention.


Ann Arbor City Council to address FOIA revisions

At its regularly scheduled Monday meeting, the Ann Arbor City Council will consider resolutions regarding city liquor licenses, extensions of wastewater contracts with Scio Township and updates to the city’s document policies under Freedom of Information laws.

Approval of liquor license for Miya restaurant

The Council will hear a resolution requesting the approval of a liquor license for Miya, a Japanese restaurant located at 715 N. University Ave., formerly the site of