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Public records could soon be cheaper, easier to obtain in Michigan

Dec 29, 2014

Credit dave / morgueFile

Gov. Rick Snyder will soon consider a bill that could make public records cheaper and easier to obtain.

Proponents have long claimed some agencies that are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) charge exorbitant fees to process requests for public records. They claim the goal is to discourage people from trying to obtain those documents.

Under the legislation, governments could only charge what it costs to gather, review, copy, and send the information. They would be required to reduce the fees if they do not respond to information requests in a timely manner.

The bill would also let people who request documents appeal the fees if they seem too high.

State lawmakers passed the legislation on the last day of their “lame duck” session. It was the first bill introduced when the term began two years ago.