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Gov. Whitmer signs executive directive aimed at improving transparency

Picture of the Lansing capitol building
Lester Graham
/
Michigan Radio
Replacing the Michigan Business Tax is high on the legislature's agenda

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says her latest executive directive will improve transparency in state government.

Whitmer’s 11th executive directive is aimed at getting information to reporters and citizens faster. It encourages state departments to not request extensions beyond the state deadlines for Freedom of Information Act requests, and it encourages the departments to get information out before those deadlines. The directive also encourages the use of live streaming for public meetings.

Senator Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) has worked to improve Michigan’s transparency laws for years. He says this directive will prevent state agencies from using delay tactics and charging high fees.

“FOIA has been weaponized by some bad actors in state government,” he says. “It’s urgent. There’s a sense of urgency because there are government decisions that are being made that are impacting people’s lives.”

Moss is also working on legislation to open up the governor’s office and the Legislature to FOIA requests.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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