Skubick: Legislature takes another look at Freedom of Information Act

Michigan

Former MSU interim president John Engler is the new poster boy for renewed legislative efforts to include the governor and legislature under the state’s 40 year old Freedom Of Information Law.  

Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Moss thinks John Engler is a perfect example of how the Freedom of Information Act should work.

“You had John Engler at MSU and the reason he was ousted was because of FOIA,” said the senator. “It shed light on some of the things he was saying and doing as president of MSU and he used the crutch to say, well, I’m not use to that as governor. “

Obviously, when former Lansing lawmaker David Hollister wrote the law in the 1970s social media did not exist.

But now it does and Democrat Mr. Moss and co-sponsor Republican Ed McBroom want to modernize the law.

“We need to see what our governor and legislature are doing behind the scenes to make sure there isn’t bad behavior,” said Sen. Moss. “Emails should be subject within reason. calendars to see what meetings take place. phone calls should be open.”

So what about texting? “We need to figure that out,” answers Sen. Moss.

There’s no question that government business is done by texting, but the Senate Republican leader is concerned about invasion of privacy.

“I want to make sure we are navigating that fine line from true government work and personal,” explained Sen. Mike Shirkey.

Skubick: “And texting?”

Sen. Shirkey: “That’s a great example of where we need to be very careful.”

Skubick: “Dangerous?”

Sen. Shirkey: “I don’t know if its dangerous but I don’t want you to know when Im texting my wife.”

The Michigan House has passed this twice in the last four years only to have the Senate kill it.

With a new Senate, will this time be different?

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