House Passes Open Records Expansion
The Michigan House has passed a package of bills adding the Governor’s office to the Freedom of Information Act and creating Legislative Open Records Act (LORA) for State Legislature. The bills have been referred to the Senate; however, it’s been reported that Majority Floor Leader Mike Shirkey (R-16) does not support the package. To date, this is the third time the House passed similar bills in the last two legislative sessions.
Under the bills, records from the Executive Office would be open under FOIA, with additional exemptions that include constituent communications, communications about gubernatorial appointments, decisions to remove or suspend an official from office and budget recommendations. The Legislature would be covered under a parallel system called the Legislative Open Records Act. It largely mirrors FOIA but includes new exemptions as well, including constituent communications and communications between legislators.