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State House passes freedom of information bills

Flickr User Democracy Chronicles

The state House has passed most of the bills in a package to open the governor’s office and the Legislature up to certain records requests. But some people are concerned the bills don’t go far enough to improve transparency.

Lonnie Scott is the executive director of Progress Michigan. That’s a progressive watchdog organization. He says they do believe the bills are a step forward. But they’re concerned that when it comes to the Legislature, if a records request is denied, any appeal would be handled internally by a special council.

“The Legislature has created their own system which really eliminates some of the checks and balances that are within our FOIA law which makes them work.”

Entities that are subject to the regular Freedom of Information law can have appeals decided by judges.