Rep Howrylak Introduces Bill to Create Open Government Commission

ScottWrightadTOPRep Howrylak Introduces dinos02sidelogo3Bill to Create Open Government Commission

(State Rep. Martin Howrylak Press Release, March 18, 2016)

Rep. Howrylak has introduced House Bill 5488 to establish an Open Government Commission within the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.

The bill was introduced in conjunction with Sunshine Week, which is a national initiative focused on government accountability and transparency. If enacted, Rep. Howrylak’s bill would establish an Open Government Commission to receive and respond to citizen complaints. The Commission may refer complaints to the Attorney General or recommend policies to a public body after a complaint is investigated.

“Currently, the only avenue that citizens have to appeal questionable FOIA decisions such as ChamberAd_01excessive costs, and questionable exclusion claims is the courts, which is prohibitively expensive and makes such appeals unrealistic for most citizens,” said Rep. Howrylak, R-Troy. “This Commission would serve as an alternative avenue to ensure our FOIA law is working as intended.”

The Commission will be composed of nine members appointed by the Governor from recommendations by the Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Michigan Association of Broadcasters, and Michigan Press Association. This Commission is a cost effective solution for Michigan taxpayers because members will serve on a volunteer basis without compensation to ensure FOIA law is properly enforced and complaints are processed effectively.

House Bill 5488 was referred to House Committee on Oversight and Ethics for consideration.

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