Legislation requiring complete contract information from those submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request passed the State Legislature this week in response to requests sent to nearly every Michigan clerk for 2016 ballots signed only as “Emily.” It became clear after the requests were submitted that it came from the nonprofit arm of the national Democratic Party’s largest super PAC, Priorities USA. The requests came in the midst of the 2018 election season.
HB 6582 requires a first and last name, address and contact information from a person or agent of an organization when filing a FOIA request. It would also implement a 45-day timeline for the requestor to respond or appeal the cost estimate provided by the entity receiving the request. If there was no response within 45 days, it would be treated as abandoned. B top