LANSING, Michigan (AP) – Open government advocates said Monday they would launch an election campaign for 2022 to subject the Michigan governor and legislature to public record requests.
Michigan is one of only two states to fully exempt the governor’s office and is one of eight states where lawmakers are explicitly exempted. Bills to end exemptions from the Freedom of theinformation 1976 have stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate, although they gained broad bipartisan support in the GOP-led House in 2016, 2017, and 2019.
Lonnie Scott, executive director of the liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan, said “the people of Michigan deserve accountable and transparent government.”
The organization will announce more details in mid-March around Sunshine Week – a time to highlight the importance of open government policies. Defenders will need to collect around 340,000 signatures from valid voters to launch a law or around 425,000 signatures to propose a constitutional amendment.
“Every year, it’s the same story. Bills with good intentions that don’t go far enough and include ridiculous exclusions for lawmakers in an effort to bribe Republicans to support them, are slowly dying on the vine due to a lack of political will or d ‘commitment to real transparency in the legislature,’ Scott said. “The audience is fed up and we are done playing games. “
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