State Rep. Gary Eisen this week voted to approve a bipartisan plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan. Eisen, of St. Clair Township, said the governor and legislators should be held to the same standards of transparency as local and state governments. “As a legislator, we need to be accountable to the people we represent. Supporting this plan is giving Michigan residents the transparency they deserve,” Eisen said. Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor and the Legislature from open records laws. The bipartisan solution approved today would end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government. The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA). While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private. Other types of communications – including those lawmakers have with state departments and lobbyists – would not be exempt. The LORA plan also ensures residents have access to a fair and effective way to appeal improper denials and excessive fees. House Bills 4007-13 and 4015-16 now advance to the Senate for consideration.