Why You Should Care About Michigan’s Open Records Law

Cheyna Roth/MPRN

Members of the state House hold a press conference announcing bills to overhaul Michigan’s public records laws

Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees residents access to public information.

But the law does not cover the governor’s office or the state Legislature. And open government advocates say it’s too easy for public officials to deny requests or keep information from people.

WDET recently did an investigation into how local governments in Southeast Michigan are complying with the law and how easy they make it for residence to file requests.

Click here to see an interactive map that shows how different communities allow residents to file requests.

Click here to hear an in-depth conversation on Detroit Today about the status of Michigan

Jake Neher speaks with Michigan Public Radio’s Cheyna Roth about efforts at the state Capitol to improve Michigan’s open records laws.

When we think about government, we tend to sometimes think of… this entity that’s always watching us,” says Roth. “But FOIA is a way for the everyday citizen to watch their government.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

This post is a part of MichMash.

Each week, WDET's Jake Neher and Michigan Public Radio's Cheyna Roth un-jumble Michigan issues and talk about how statewide news stories affect you. 

About the Author

Jake Neher

Detroit Today - Producer & Special Projects Reporter

Jake Neher is a producer & reporter for Detroit Today

Jake.Neher@wdet.org   Follow @GJNeher

Cheyna Roth


Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She’s also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.

CRoth@MPRN.org   Follow @Cheyna_R

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