Sen. Webber supports bills expanding FOIA power over governor’s office, Legislature

Sen. Webber supports bills expanding FOIA power over governor’s office, Legislature

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Michael Webber on Wednesday voted with the Michigan Senate to pass historic bipartisan legislation to increase government transparency by expanding the Freedom of Information Act applications to include the governor’s office and state Legislature.

“I have supported efforts to expand and clarify FOIA throughout my time in the Legislature, and I was proud to cast my vote in support of this important legislation to make Michigan government more accountable to the people it serves,” said Webber. “This is a significant step forward in addressing the crucial need to shine more light on our state government.”

Enacted in 1976, Michigan’s FOIA law is one of the few across the nation that exempts state lawmakers and the governor’s office from records requests. This oversight gap earned Michigan an F-grade in government integrity from the national Center for Public Integrity, which ranked the state last overall for systems in place to deter government corruption in its 2015 report.

“We still have a lot of work ahead of us, and I will continue to advocate for more transparency at all levels of government,” Webber said. “Government that is for the people, by the people works best out in the open for all to see.”

Senate Bills 669 and 670 were each passed in 36-2 votes by the Senate on Wednesday and moved to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Webber previously introduced SB 154 to clarify what and who is covered under FOIA following a shocking Oakland County Circuit Court ruling that found a union member teacher’s class curriculum was not obtainable under the state law, despite the educator being an employee of a public school system.

“My bill would expand access to information to meet what reasonable Michiganders already believe is covered under the current law,” Webber said. “No parent should be denied access to what is being taught to their children inside public classrooms.”


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