Whitmer signs directive to improve state’s FOIA response

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a directive she says is aimed at easing people’s ability to obtain public records from the state government.

Whitmer signed the executive directive at the Michigan Press Association’s annual conference Friday in Grand Rapids. She says it expands the reach and effectiveness of the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act to make state government more transparent.

“Transparency liaisons” will be designated within departments and agencies to facilitate FOIA requests. Extension periods will be limited. She is encouraging state officials to fulfill all requests before the deadline and prohibiting state officials from using electronic communications to conduct business during public meetings.

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