Senators celebrate long-awaited progress on bipartisan bills to increase transparency, improve accountability, restore public trust in state government 
LANSING, Mich. (June 26, 2024) — The Senate took a historic vote today in support of bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Waucedah Twp.) to expand the application of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to the Michigan Legislature and governor, a significant step forward to increase transparency within state government. Senate Bills 669 and 670 each passed with a 36-2 vote. 
“Sen. McBroom and I have worked for years to increase transparency and change the institutions at our State Capitol but our legislation to shine more light on the inner workings of government consistently stalled in the Senate. We can no longer sustain any more scandals in Lansing that are made possible by the dark areas in law in which they can exist. We have finally reached the elusive Senate vote to expand FOIA and our majority is beginning a new chapter of openness in our state,” Sen. Moss said. 
Enacted in 1976, Michigan’s FOIA law is one of the few in the nation that exempts state lawmakers and the governor’s office from records requests. This significant gap in the law contributed to Michigan receiving an F in government integrity from the national Center for Public Integrity’s 2015 report, where the state ranked last overall, failing in 10 out of 13 categories, including public access to information, executive accountability, and legislative accountability. 
“For far too long, Michigan has been one of the only states in the nation to exempt lawmakers and the governor’s office from FOIA requests,” said Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids). “The passage of this bipartisan legislation demonstrates our staunch commitment to increasing government transparency and accountability, and in turn, restoring public trust in our institutions.” 
Sens. Moss and McBroom began working to expand FOIA as state representatives in 2015 and successfully ushered the legislation through the Michigan House. Since then, however, the Senate never moved on the legislation until Wednesday’s vote. 
“There are many ways to help our state government be more accountable and this is one that should have been in place years ago,” said Sen. McBroom. “I hope we will get this passed and keep working to put the citizens first in how the government actually operates.” 
Notably, the legislation has garnered widespread support from key stakeholders, including the Michigan Press Association, ALCU of Michigan, and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. This diverse support — from groups that utilize FOIA the most — underscores the potential impact of this legislation, reshaping the operations of government institutions and changing the culture at the State Capitol. 
The bills now move to the House.