Government transparency bills from an unlikely pair of lawmakers have managed to score a Senate hearing, after many years of the chamber resisting their calls to consider the legislation.
State Sens. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) drafted the first iteration of the large bill package together when they served in the state House six years ago. Both have been vocal about the need for Michigan to improve its transparency laws, which are ranked among the worst in the nation.
The Senate Oversight Committee — chaired by McBroom — plans to take up the legislation at 2 p.m. Tuesday. That will include his and Moss’ Senate bills 833-842, along with concurrent House bills 4007-4016. All bills have a lengthy list of sponsors from both sides of the aisle.
The House passed its package last year.
BREAKING: For the first time, we will hold a Senate hearing on the open records legislation that @SenEdMcBroom & I drafted years ago as House members.
In previous sessions, the Senate had been the roadblock, but now Ed & I are there to usher these bipartisan bills through. pic.twitter.com/7fOmcwjKdb
— Senator Jeremy Moss (@JeremyAllenMoss) September 14, 2020
Currently, both the Legislature and governor’s office in Michigan are exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The new transparency bills would modify those exemptions and create the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA) as part of FOIA.
In a Twitter video posted by Moss on Monday, he and McBroom discuss their legislation that has now been six years in the making.
“We’re really excited to move this legislation forward and bring more transparency to the people of Michigan,” McBroom said.