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Governor Whitmer vetoes bill that prohibits suspension of transparency during emergencies

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed a bill its west Michigan sponsor says was drafted providing greater transparency during a State of Emergency. 

The bill would prohibit the suspension of Freedom of Information Act requests during a State of Emergency. During the pandemic, emergency orders extended FOIA requests response times.

Michigan House Bill 4448 was introduced by State Representative Steven Johnson. The Wayland Republican says the bipartisan legislation is necessary.

“Government should not be able to decide when it wants to be transparent," Johnson said.

Forty House Democrats voted in favor of the bill with Republicans with 11 Democrats voting against the measure. In the Senate, the vote was 21-15 in favor.

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed the legislation Thursday saying she will not sign bills that constrain the governor’s ability to protect people.