Rep. Jeremy Moss Renews Call to Subject Legislature to FOIA

Michigan one of two states where state officials, lawmakers are exempt
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

LANSING — State Representative Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) is backing efforts to expand Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act to cover the Legislature and governor’s office. House Bill 4283, introduced earlier this year and co-sponsored by Rep. Moss, would end the exemption for the executive and legislative branches.

“People expect and deserve an open, transparent government. When the task of legislating plays out behind closed doors, our constituents begin to distrust us and lose faith in the political process,” Moss said. “We are elected to serve the people, and the only way they can know whether we are serving them honestly and fairly is if we do our jobs in the light of day.”

Moss’ call for expanding FOIA comes as two lawmakers are being investigated on suspicion of misusing taxpayer resources for personal and political reasons. House Republican leadership has hidden the full report of the investigation and denied requests to release the full version. Meanwhile, House Democrats have introduced legislation term after term that would shine more light on state government.

“Michigan is one of only two states that exempt its governor and legislature from FOIA — even our local elected officials are subject to it,” said Moss, a former Southfield city councilman and Democratic vice chair of the House Local Government Committee. “In light of recent events, I believe it’s more important than ever to restore our constituents’ faith in their elected officials and allow them to hold us to account.”