O’Brien, Schuitmaker support plan to increase government transparency

LANSING, Mich. — State Senators Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, and Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, expressed support for legislation announced Wednesday that would help increase transparency within state government.

The legislation, which was discussed at a press conference Wednesday morning, was introduced in the House of Representatives. The 10-bill, bipartisan plan would add to the state’s Freedom of Information Act the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and create the Legislative Open Records Act.

“Good governance is built on a bedrock of transparency,” the senators said in a joint statement. “We believe the more open government is, the better it can serve Michigan taxpayers. We appreciate the leadership of our House colleagues and are happy to partner with them on this important issue.”

The senators have long supported increasing government transparency. While on the Portage City Council, O’Brien fought for more transparency, including putting the City Council packets and city’s check register online. Last year, Schuitmaker was recognized for her efforts by the Michigan Press Association during its annual Sunshine Week.