Current Legislation


Elimination of Public Notice in Newspapers Second Bill Introduced this session.

Representative Rob Verheulen (R-Walker) introduced HB 4002 yesterday during the first day of session for the 99th Legislature.

HB 4002 is a re-run of Amanda Price's effort to remove ALL public notice from newspapers in Michigan and allow local governments to publish them exclusively on their websites.

The Michigan Press Association public policy team urges you to TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY by doing the following:

  1. Contact your state representative and explain how harmful this bill is to the public's right to know
  2. Consider running the op-ed at michiganpress.org from MPA President Doug Caldwell in your newspaper
  3. Run one of the house ads found at Control of What You Know in your newspaper to let your readers know that this is an important issue.

MPA will be posting other op-eds on this issue from members on our website to help you keep the public informed.

In other legislative news, the public policy team has been working on our legislative agenda. Public notice is one of the top issues as will be pursuing passage of legislation that will remove the exemptions to FOIA currently held by the Governor and legislators. A package of bills to remove these exemptions passed through the House last fall but failed to advance in the Senate.

MPA will also be working with New Voices, the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association and Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) to reintroduce the Student Free Press and Civics Readiness legislation that would allow freedom of speech for student journalists. Similar legislation has been passed in other states.

As always MPA staff will be monitoring the legislature for bills introduced that will impact the business of newspapering. If you have any questions about legislation, please contact lisa@michiganpress.org or call Lisa McGraw at 313-247-9859.


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Excerpts from Mlive.com

The Sun is shining on the House side of the Capitol.

Legislation to subject the legislature and governor to the Freedom of Information Act is back, and more than half of the 110-member House of Representatives is supporting it.

The Michigan House of Representatives last session overwhelmingly passed legislation looping the Governor and legislature into open records laws, and the legislation is back this time around, with the support of more than half of state representatives.

Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield are leading the package of bills. They were joined at the press conference by more than 60 lawmakers, including many freshmen lawmakers, House Speaker Rep. Tom Leonard, R-DeWitt, and House Democratic Leader Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing.

The legislation the group announced mirrors legislation Moss and Chatfield worked on with former Rep. Ed McBroom last session, subjecting the Governor to the existing Freedom of Information Act and establishing a separate Legislative Open Records Act that covered the legislative branch.

That legislation passed by a wide majority, with most bills in the package passing 100-6.

Moss and Chatfield are happy to meet with Senators on the legislation, they said. Moss added that constituent contacts were addressed in the legislation, in his opinion, and it was one of the things they spent the most time on last year.

Moss pointed out that the handful of lawmakers who had voted against the legislation in 2016 were third-term lawmakers. He and Chatfield pointed to a big appetite for expanding FOIA among new lawmakers who joined the body in January.

Legislation we are tracking

The MPA Public Policy team carefully follows federal and state legislation. The bills tracked include public notices, FOIA legislation, your business and many others. If you have questions, please contact Lisa McGraw at 313-247-9859 or email her at lisa@michiganpress.org.


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