Senate committee approves long-awaited bipartisan FOIA legislation

Senate committee approves long-awaited bipartisan FOIA legislation

Sens. McBroom and Moss celebrate movement of FOIA expansion bills during Sunshine Week

LANSING, Mich. — Bills sponsored by Sen. Ed McBroom and Sen. Jeremy Moss to help bring greater transparency to state government were favorably reported by the Senate Oversight Committee on Wednesday.

The bipartisan legislation would work to expand the application of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Michigan Legislature, the governor and the lieutenant governor.

“Transparency in our government is a necessary and important step in growing and restoring trust and confidence in our government and the people elected to it,” said McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “These laws recognize the government belongs to the people and that secrecy and hidden information weakens their ability to hold their government accountable.”

“There is no better way to mark Sunshine Week than to advance this legislation and demonstrate our commitment to shining more light on our work in the Capitol,” said Moss, D-Southfield. “I look forward to finally bringing our effort to expand FOIA to a vote before the full Senate for the very first time.”

Senate Bills 669 and 670 represent a departure from past efforts by integrating the Legislature into Michigan’s FOIA, a response to years of Senate inaction, and aim to address the state’s poor government integrity ranking due to the exclusion of state lawmakers and the governor’s office from records requests.

“I take pride in my committee’s pivotal role in advancing government reforms that enhance public access and transparency,” said Sen. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, chair of the Senate Oversight Committee. “We have an important opportunity to move beyond the status quo and usher in a new era of openness in state government. Public trust is integral to public service, and this legislation will uphold these values.”

Supporters of the legislation include the Michigan Press Association, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, ACLU of Michigan, Michigan League of Women Voters, Progress Michigan, and Voters Not Politicians. If enacted, this FOIA legislation would set a new precedent in Michigan government, changing the political landscape. The bills now move to the full Senate for consideration.

In conjunction with Sunshine Week and Wednesday’s legislative action, Moss and McBroom will be participating in a webinar held by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, “Reforming FOIA in Michigan,” to update interested media on this issue. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, March 14, from 2 to 3 p.m. More information and the registration form can be found here.


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