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Campaign to expand Michigan's freedom of information laws on hold

Michigan Capitol
Kathy Noble
Michigan Capitol

The petition campaign to expand the state’s open government laws is on hold and could be delayed until a future election cycle instead of aiming for the 2022 ballot.

The Campaign to Close Lansing Loopholes is pondering its next move following a Michigan Court of Appeals decision regarding signature-gathering.

The issue is not the decision itself, said Lonnie Scott with Progress Michigan, a lead member of the coalition. Scott says the timing of the decision leaves a small window to gather enough petition signatures and get them certified in time to make the 2022 ballot.

“We’re not alone in wanting this type of reform, but we just have to make sure as we make this decision, that we actually have what it takes to move forward and be able to get it done,” Scott told Michigan Public Radio. “Or else, it’s no better than just the Legislature simply talking about it.”

The campaign seeks to extend freedom-of-information laws beyond state agencies and local governments, so they also cover the Legislature and the governor’s office. The campaign has also endorsed bills before the Legislature to do the same thing.

“We wish that the Legislature would do it,” he said, “but it’s become more and more clear all they can muster is to talk about it.”

Scott says a final decision on the campaign’s next moves will be made in the next week or two.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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