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Bills To Make State Government More Transparent Passes House

A bipartisan plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan is being supported by Representative Greg Markkenen.

The Hancock Republican said the State House unanimously approved the multi-bill proposal Tuesday, a package he co-sponsored.

“A government cannot effectively serve its people unless it is transparent,” Markkanen said. “Our job is to serve the people of Michigan, and people need to be able to hold us accountable for our actions.”

Michigan is one of just two states that exempts the governor and the Legislature from open records laws.

The legislation would end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.

The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating the Legislative Open Records Act.

While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private.

Other types of communications – including those lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists – would not be exempt.

The bills now advance to the Senate for consideration.

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