Macomb Daily: Bills would expose Michigan lawmakers, governor to FOIA

By Jameson Cook | May 18, 2016

The Flint water crisis and last year’s scandal in the Legislature appears to be providing the impetus for possible passage of a package of bills to in effect expand the Freedom of Information Act to the governor, lieutenant governor and state lawmakers.

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The 10-bill package under consideration by the state House of Representatives would implement the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA), which would apply most provisions in the FOIA to the governor, lieutenant governor, senators and legislators, with some exceptions. It would take effect Jan. 1, 2017, and would not be retroactive.

... State Sen. Steve Bieda, D-Warren, said the “public has a right to know” what its government is doing. “Sunshine is a great anti-septic,” he said.

Bieda said he has introduced bills to expand FOIA in state government since 2003. He currently is the primary sponsor of a Senate bill and co-sponsor of a second bill to accomplish the goal. The bills could become part of a conference panel to hammer out a final version.

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Steve Bieda