The House Oversight Committee took testimony on a bipartisan effort led by State Rep. Ann Bollin, R-Brighton Township, to increase the transparency of state government.
Bollin said Michigan is one of a very few states that still exempts its governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature from sunshine laws, and that her solution would remove these exemptions and make the government more accountable to the people of Michigan.
“The people of Michigan deserve better – plain and simple,” Bollin said. “I’m fighting to give our residents the tools they need to hold all of their elected officials accountable.”
The transparency plan will subject the Legislature to a new Legislative Open Records Act (LORA), and the governor and lieutenant governor to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private. Other communications lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists would be subject to public review.
“The governor and state legislators are elected by the people to do the people’s business – and the public should have access to review the work they are doing,” Bollin said. “That’s what our plan will provide.”
House Bills 4383-92 remain under consideration by the House Oversight Committee.