Thursday, August 11, 2022


A new report says Georgia should step up for mothers and infants, Oregon communities force a polluter to shut down, and we have an update on the FBI's probe of Trump allies, including Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.


Inflation could be at a turning point, House members debate the expansion of the IRS, and former President Donald Trump invokes the Fifth Amendment in a deposition over his business practices.


Infrastructure funding is on its way, ranchers anticipate money from the Inflation Reduction Act, and rural America is becoming more diverse, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the leadership.

Government Transparency Bills Attracting Mixed Reviews


Wednesday, 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.

get more stories like this via email

Pictured in the center is Francine "Fran" Pace, one of 11 graduates of this summer's Youth Leadership Academy for Iowans with disabilities. (Photo courtesy of DD Council).

Health and Wellness

Nearly a dozen Iowa youths with disabilities are taking newly developed leadership skills out into the world. A summer academy wrapped up this month…


A coalition of community organizations teamed up in Oregon to force a chronic polluter out of business, and bring environmental justice to a nearby …

Health and Wellness

During National Health Center Week, health-care advocates are highlighting the work Community Health Centers are doing to improve access to care …

The Inflation Reduction Act would cap the price of insulin at $35 a month for people on Medicare. (Sherry Young/Adobestock)

Health and Wellness

Health advocates are hailing the new Inflation Reduction Act, saying it would be the biggest health-care reform since the Affordable Care Act…

Social Issues

As parts of Southern California suffer with triple-digit temperatures, state lawmakers are set to vote today on two bills to study and mitigate heat …

Nearly half of Hispanic or Latina women of reproductive age in Georgia are uninsured. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

While abortion care is in the headlines, a new report says accessing other health-care services is a challenge for many women in Georgia. Data from …


Hunters, landowners and wildlife managers are gathering in Montana to discuss the need for novel approaches to elk management. The 2022 Elk …


Next week, North Dakota landowners will get a chance to hear updates on a proposed underground pipeline for transporting and sequestering carbon …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021