FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan
May 5, 2015
Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, firstname.lastname@example.org
GOP Attempts to Further Scuttle Michigan’s FOIA Laws
Info about pipeline safety would be barred from FOIA under proposed legislation
LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding attempts by conservatives in the Michigan Legislature to permanently block the public’s access to pipeline safety records.
“Michigan already has some of the worst transparency laws in the country, our elected officials need to be pushing policies to remedy that situation, not make it worse,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Our FOIA system can be fixed, but not when the only moves being made by our legislators are to protect the interests of corporate polluters from public accountability.”
Just today, in an example of just how broken Michigan’s FOIA laws have become, Progress Michigan announced that it had filed an appeal with the Michigan Department of Treasury after the organization was told it would cost over $52,000 to complete a simple public records request. Other departments fulfilled that same request free of charge. The proposed legislation would only make FOIA matters worse in Michigan.
“Rather than fighting for the public’s right to know, our elected officials are shamelessly trying to protect their corporate donors in the oil and gas lobby, like Enbridge,” Scott continued. “Our representatives need to get to work protecting and advancing the public’s right to hold their government accountable, not currying favor with wealthy special interests.”