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Sens. Moss, McBroom push to expand open records law upon receipt of Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award

LANSING, Mich. — Sens. Jeremy Moss and Ed McBroom — the 2022 recipients of the Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award from the Michigan Press Association — marked Sunshine Week by renewing their call for swift passage of their legislation to shine more light on state government.

“I still have the same sense of urgency to create the Legislative Open Records Act and expand the Freedom of Information Act as I did when we first introduced our open records proposal in the Michigan House several years ago. We’ve brought our bills a long way and they’re finally before the full Senate for consideration,” said Moss, D-Southfield. “I appreciate the Michigan Press Association for their partnership and recognition of our efforts. It’s time to put this legislation up for a vote and allow Michigan residents greater access to their state government.”

Sunshine Week is recognized yearly to raise awareness about accessible transparency in government, as well as the value and role it plays in our democracy. Moss and McBroom have pushed forward their legislation to subject the governor and Legislature to records requests from the public since the 2015-2016 legislative session.

Michigan is one of only two states that does not allow FOIA to apply to the executive and legislative branches of state government and has ranked dead last among all states in ethics, transparency and accountability according to the Center for Public Integrity.

“Michiganders should not feel they are in the dark when it comes to what their government is working on, which is why voting on legislation to create paths for open communication and government transparency is such a priority,” said McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “Being recognized for prioritizing government transparency is an honor, especially when the award is in the spirit of a dear friend and colleague whom I regularly miss. I look forward to continuing to work with Sen. Moss, as well as the rest of my colleagues, on pushing this legislation forward.”

The Peter Pettalia Memorial Sunshine Award is given annually by the Michigan Press Association to public servants who strive to promote and protect an open government. The award is named after former state Rep. Peter Pettalia of Presque Isle, who tragically died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash in 2016 and who was passionate about keeping the public informed through a transparent government.

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