PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app


PNS Daily Newscast - May 7, 2021 

President Biden proposes expanding the Pell Grant program to reach more students in need and the Navajo Nation addresses the need for tougher methane emissions rules.

2021Talks - May 7, 2021 

President Biden talks hurricane aid in Louisiana, Vice President Harris visits Rhode Island, defense officials talk about clamping down on domestic extremism in the ranks, and plan for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Government Transparency Bills Attracting Mixed Reviews

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Michigan got an "F" on government transparency in a 2015 report from the Center for Public Integrity. (Wikimedia Commons)
Michigan got an "F" on government transparency in a 2015 report from the Center for Public Integrity. (Wikimedia Commons)
 By Suzanne Potter - Producer, Contact
March 6, 2019

LANSING, Mich. — A package of bills designed to improve government transparency went before the state House Government Operations committee on Tuesday.

Michigan has the worst record on government transparency in the country, according to a 2015 report from the Center for Public Integrity. That is mostly because under current law, the governor, lieutenant governor and Legislature are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, meaning they don't have to make their records public.

Bipartisan bills HR 4007-4016 would create a framework for public record requests, to be known as the Legislative Open Records Act.

Sam Inglot, deputy communications director for the group Progress Michigan, said his group has been fighting on this issue for years.

"Not only is it somewhat of an embarrassment that we're at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to ethics and transparency,” Inglot said, ”but we lack a key accountability tool for citizens to make sure that their government is working responsibly for them and not some corporate special interests.”

However, Inglot said the bills still don't go far enough because they prevent citizens or news organizations who have had their records request denied from appealing in court. Instead, appeals are handed to an administrator appointed by the Legislature.

Opponents of the bills warn that increased public scrutiny could open up privacy issues and discourage open and frank discussions among lawmakers.

The bills also require the Legislature to keep all records for just 30 days. Inglot said that's not long enough.

"Thirty days is far less than other levels and layers of government,” he said. “Some municipalities and local governments have to hold onto documents for a number of years. So we just don't think that's good enough."

Inglot said during the Flint water crisis, many FOIA requests were denied, and it took a massive public outcry to convince Gov. Rick Snyder to release correspondence related to the scandal.

Bills on transparency have passed the Michigan House unanimously in the past but have been blocked in the Senate. But Inglot said he thinks this year supporters may have the votes.

Best Practices