LANSING, Mich., March 16, 2023 — State Rep. Erin Byrnes (D-Dearborn) introduced House Resolution 56 today. This resolution would declare this week, March 13-18, as Sunshine Week in Michigan. Sunshine Week is a national initiative by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy.
“Trust in government has been on the decline for more than 50 years,” Byrnes said. “It’s time we do something about this issue and work to restore the people’s trust. As chair of the Ethics and Oversight Committee, one of my main goals is to pass policies that will increase transparency in our state, and I will work diligently to rebuild Michiganders’ trust in our government.”
“Intentionally or unintentionally, shrouding information from the public deprives people of some of their political power,” said state Rep. Kara Hope (D-Holt), majority vice chair of the House Ethics and Oversight Committee. “It’s unacceptable in a democratic society, and I hope that the 102nd Legislature will work to return more power to the people.”
Michigan is one of only three states, with the others being Utah and Massachusetts, that does not allow the Freedom of Information Act to apply to the executive and legislative branches of state government and has ranked dead last among all states in ethics transparency and accountability, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
“I’m looking forward to working with colleagues from both sides of the aisle on the Ethics Committee to bring more transparency to our state government,” said state Rep. Tom Kunse (R-Clare), minority vice chair of the House Ethics and Oversight Committee.