Next week is “Sunshine Week,” and some Michigan legislators are celebrating by introducing transparency bills.
Almost the entire Michigan House has signaled support for a package of bills that would subject legislators and the governor to open record laws. While there may need to be some loopholes — for some legislative discussions and people sharing personal information with elected officials — these bills would, if enacted, put Michigan on par with most of the states.
Another proposed law, House Bill 4301 from Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo, would require the state to make public the name, position, and salary of every state employee. This would add on to a bill from 2016 requiring the state to list organizational charts, as well as a bill from a few years ago mandating that school districts make public their contracts, budget, superintendent’s salary and more.
Broad-based transparency laws will often need a few exceptions. But governments should be as open and transparent as possible in how they spend money, and these bills are a few more steps in that direction.
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