Monday, September 22, 2014

Did you know: In Michigan, the governor and legislature are exempt from FOIA requests

Michigan's FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) law, passed in 1976, is silent on whether state lawmakers are covered, but former Attorney General Frank Kelley, in a 1986 opinion, said "the Legislature has exempted state legislators" from the law. (For those laws where the legislature's intent is hard to interpret, the AG's office comes out with "opinions," also called OAGs, that will give guidance to the rest of the public.)

Combined, the exemptions for the governor and lawmakers make Michigan's open records law one of the country's weakest, in terms of who is covered and who is not.

Article here. 

Michigan's FOIA says the parts of state government it covers "does not include the governor or lieutenant governor, the executive office of the governor or lieutenant governor, or employees thereof."

Some records in the Michigan governor's office still must be released since the state constitution — which trumps the FOIA — says "all financial records ...and other reports of public moneys shall be public records and open to inspection."

But records related to the governor available in many other states — such as correspondence, reports, appointment schedules and phone records — are not available in Michigan.

(credit where credit is due: Blog article idea credit goes to attorney Carri Briseno.

No comments:

Post a Comment