On the final session day of Sunshine Week, the House passed HB 4001, a bill that makes numerous changes to the FOIA law, making it more costly to comply and more punitive for local units of government if a mistake is made. The bill passed in bipartisan fashion, 102 supporting and 8 opposing.
The House passed version of the legislation is here. While we recognize this version is improved from the introduced version, we still have a number of concerns with it and remain in opposition. Additionally, there are many punitive damages for local units of government who are abusing FOIA or those who may have made a mistake in processing but there is nothing in the legislation to address abuses on the other side.
This bill now moves onto the Senate. I would encourage you to contact your Senator and relay the impact this will have on your communities to them.
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.