Bill Bars Public Bodies From FOIA Suits

capitol3According to a report in Gongwer, the House Oversight and Ethics Committee last week heard testimony on HB 5826, which prohibits a public body from bringing civil action against an outside entity that requests information under FOIA.

The legislation stems from the Daily News in Greenville submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Montcalm County for personnel files of the three Republican county sheriff candidates who were employed by the county and were surprised to learn officials were suing the paper instead of providing the files.

State Representative Ed McBroom (R-108), chair of the committee, stated: “I believe that this is good policy because to allow anything in FOIA to face potential delay like this and potentially emasculate FOIA this way, I think it is very damaging to the public.”

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