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House panel approves Rep Bermans transparency plan during Sunshine Week

first_img State Rep. Ryan Berman’s plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan was approved today by the House Government Operations Committee.Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature from sunshine laws. Berman’s legislation is part of a bipartisan plan to end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.“We can’t expect people to have faith in their government if they don’t have a way to hold their elected officials accountable,” said Berman, of Commerce Township. “Approving these reforms will set an example of openness and honesty and help restore public confidence.”The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to FOIA and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating a new law called the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private. Other communications lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists would not be exempt.Berman noted the committee’s approval coincided with Sunshine Week, a national initiative celebrating the important role transparency plays in our system of government.House Bills 4007-4016 now advance to the full House for consideration.### 12Mar House panel approves Rep. Berman’s transparency plan during Sunshine Week Categories: Berman Newslast_img read more