MI Gov. Rick Snyder signs laws shielding gun records from Freedom of Information Act requests

The legislation signed Tuesday codifies a 1999 Michigan Supreme Court decision that found disclosure of gun registry records to be an invasion of privacy. The information will still be available to law enforcement officials for certain purposes, though there are new restrictions on when police can access the records.

A log of who accessed the records and the reason for doing so also is now required by the new laws.


Group keeps up fight to disclose Mich. driver fees

The Genoa Township-based Brain Injury Association of Michigan will not back down from its demand that catastrophic-injury-fee data be made public, despite an unfavorable ruling last week, an association official said.

The Michigan Court of Appeals last week ruled that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association, created under the state’s no-fault insurance law, should remain exempt from the state Freedom of Information Act.


Sen. Casey (MI) Presses State for Transparency In Effort to Purge Voter Rolls

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carol Aichele pressing the state government to engage in a transparent process as it participates in an effort to purge voter rolls.

The state is participating in the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program.

In his letter, Casey cited previous efforts by the state Administration to restrict access to the ballot through the state’s voter ID law in making the case for a transparent process that instills public confidence.


Belding (MI) citizens again voice displeasure of city council, city manager

Serving as a continuation from the most recent Belding City Council meeting on March 18, residents again voiced their concerns and disappointment Tuesday evening with respect to members of the council and City Manager Meg Mullendore.

The meeting followed a similar theme of two weeks ago, fueled by disgruntled citizens who again addressed their concerns during the meeting’s public comment period, which lasted nearly 35 minutes.


Column: When Lawyers Fool with FOIA

Two weeks ago, the city of Ann Arbor took a deliberate step to remove a document that had been publicly available on its website for nearly half a decade. Why?

Allegedly, that document contains information that – if it were disclosed – would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of someone’s privacy. Never mind the fact that the context of the document itself makes clear that the information in question is clearly and deliberately intended to be publicly available.


OpEd: State’s $62 billion unfunded liability demands transparency

Michigan is facing a looming problem that is already affecting our schools and all levels of state government. This problem is our state’s unfunded accrued liability (UAL), also known as “legacy costs.” These costs are the difference between the retirement benefits promised to or earned by public employees and the amount of funds available to provide them.


Things you should have easy access to, but don’t

From Detroit Free Press

About five years ago, finding out whether your new neighbor spent time behind bars for murder, rape, robbery — even writing bad checks — required little more than an Internet connection.


State police loses appeal over postmark in case involving release of patrol car video

From The Republic:

LANSING, Mich. — A dispute over patrol car video could be costly to Michigan State Police.

The state Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling in an unusual lawsuit involving the Freedom of Information Act. An Ionia County woman sued state police after they failed to turn over traffic stop video in a timely manner.