This week, both the House and Senate moved legislation expanding open records laws to include the legislature and executive office. Michigan is one of a few states that exempts them from these types of laws. This is the latest effort to include the legislature and executive office in open records laws, attempts in prior legislative terms have not been successful.
The Senate package would rename the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Freedom of Information and Legislative Open Records Act. It would open the legislature to FOIA requests from members of the public, with exemptions in place for items such as personal information, information regarding an ongoing internal or legislative investigation, and information subject to attorney-client privilege. Additionally, it would make the executive offices of the governor and lieutenant governor subject to FOIA. The bills were reported by the Senate Oversight Committee and referred to the Senate floor for consideration.
The House package creates the Legislative Open Records Act within Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act, which would subject the legislature to FOIA requests. Additionally, the package removes the exemption of the executive offices of the governor and lieutenant governor from FOIA requests. Similar to the Senate bills, it would rename FOIA to Freedom of Information and Legislative Open Records Act. The bill package was passed by the House and referred to the Senate Oversight Committee for consideration.
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