Legislation Encourages More Lawmaker Transparency

Michigan House members have introduced a public records proposal they say will increase transparency. The package of bills would subject the governor and lawmakers to public records requests. This will be the second attempt to get the bills passed in the Senate after overwhelming approval from the House last year. Kalamazoo County Republican Representative Brandt Iden is among the sponsors.

“As we’ve seen here today, this reaches across the aisle,” Iden said. “This is a big bipartisan effort. We’re going to have a lot of support in the House for this.”

The proposal announced Wednesday is a bipartisan effort sponsored by state Representatives Lee Chatfield, a Republican from Levering, and Jeremy Moss, a Democrat from Southfield. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said he had concerns with last year’s bills dealing with constituents’ communications with lawmakers becoming public. Chatfield and Moss say they believe the bills address those concerns. The legislation gained momentum last year due to Flint’s water crisis and a sex scandal that forced two legislators from office.