House to vote on extending FOIA to governor, Legislature

Posted at 6:46 AM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 06:46:00-04

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would make the governor’s office and the Legislature subject to the state’s public records law.

Michigan’s 40-year-old Freedom of Information Act explicitly exempts the governor’s office from records requests. And a 1986 opinion by the state attorney general says lawmakers also intended to exclude themselves.

Michigan is one of two states to wholly exempt the governor’s office from public records requests. Some others exempt their governor’s “working papers,” which can include memos and correspondence.

Michigan also is among a minority of states where individual lawmakers are exempt.

The House bills would exempt from disclosure communications between constituents and legislators along with other certain information.

The legislation may stall in the Senate, whose Republican leader is unenthusiastic.