by NATALIE WRIGHT
On Jan. 17, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-Michigan) took a stand for transparency by signing HB 4001 into law. The bill is the most significant reform to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act since it was written almost 40 years ago. The reforms set tighter limits on the fees public institutions can charge, establish an appeals process. They also enforce stricter penalties on institutions that are sluggish in their responses to FOIA requests.
Most importantly, Snyder said, the reforms make it clear that those in government are working on behalf of the citizens who should not be discouraged from learning about how the government operates.