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Michigan Democrat Wants More Transparency In Legislative Process

 

There’s major bipartisan support for new bills that would open the governor and the Legislature to public information requests.

Democratic state Representative Jeremy Moss says recent scandals like the Flint water crisis are helping drive support for the bills. But he and other lawmakers have been working on the issue for a long time.

Michigan lawmakers announce open records bill package

 

Michigan lawmakers have put together a series of proposed bills that would allow citizens and journalists to file open records requests with the governor's office and the Legislature.

A group of nine Republicans and Democrats sponsor bills in the package, which they said at a Wednesday news conference could be introduced in the House as soon as Thursday.

Bipartisan lawmakers aim to increase transparency for Governor's Office, Legislature

 

The Democratic leader on the package is Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield. He said he gained a deep respect for transparency's importance on Southfield City Council, after a citizen so frustrated by a stalled FOIA request assumed there was something fishy going on and started attending every council meeting as a self-appointed watchdog. Without transparency, "we look like we have something to hide, even if we don't."

Michigan DEQ approves oil drilling permit for Southfield church

 

Despite numerous and boisterous complaints from residents, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality on Tuesday approved a drilling permit for a controversial, exploratory oil well on a Southfield church’s property. But neighbors vehemently opposed to having the project in a residential area vow to continue to fight.

Southfield vows to fight drilling project's approval

 

Southfield officials vowed Tuesday to fight a decision by the state Department of Environmental Quality to approve a permit for a controversial plan to drill on the property of a Southfield church.

Traverse City-based oil and gas exploration company Jordan Development could begin drilling as early as next week on Word of Faith church’s 110-acre site at Evergreen and Nine Mile.

Southfield residents alarmed by church drilling plan

 

When longtime Southfield resident Bonnie Ayres learned that oil drilling was proposed for a church property in the city, she immediately rejected the idea.

“Who had the idea that back here in the woods is a good place for an oil well?” Ayres said. “It shouldn’t even be considered. There’s too much at stake. It takes only one drop and you can just contaminate thousands of gallons.”

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